By: Andrew Shaughnessy
This has been something I – along with a host of others – have been pondering. In a post-Windsor America, LGBT advocates and the movement as a whole, has been faced with the challenge of where we go next. The final nail is set to be cast by the Supreme Court this Spring, which could give the green light to allow same-sex marriage across the Nation. Speculations have been rumored that the Justices will vote (5-4) in favor of same-sex marriage. If this is true, we have finally lived up to one of our movement’s beliefs that in the end, love conquers all.
Though I’m not naive to know that we as a movement will still need to continue to advocate for the protection of these legal rights once gained. And I must say that we still have a LONG journey ahead of us before full legal recognition is a reality nationwide. I cannot help but wonder where will this leave us as a movement? What is our next frontier?
As a movement, this will be a defining moment. It will be a moment to reflect as a community into the problems caused by the decades lack of public policy support — many LGBT folks currently endure. I’m looking forward to shedding the weight of marriage off our shoulders so that we can begin to catch-up on some of the issues that have remained silent for far too long.
In my home State of Missouri, for instance, studies have shown that because of the lack of public policy support, stigma, and discrimination faced by the LGBT community, disproportionately we face negative health outcomes. These negative outcomes span from being twice as likely to forgo both preventative and emergency care, to being 1.5 times more likely to be uninsured than the general population. Faced with these challenges, LGBT advocates need to look to our next frontier in health.
Making sure that our families and families of choice live strong healthy lives.