OCEANSIDE — The path to reaching true equality for people in the gay community got a little bit shorter last week when the Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage was legal in all 50 states.
And while Max Disposti, executive director of the LGBTQ Resource Center in Oceanside said the landmark ruling was a decision that affects all of America and one that was long overdue, marriage is just one of the aspects that members of the gay community would like to be equal in.
Currently, Disposti said, there’s no federal law that protects them from job discrimination.
The resource center hosted a celebration following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on gay marriage, similar to the one they hosted back in 2013 when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to overturn a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that had kept same-sex marriage couples from receiving the same federal benefits as heterosexual married couples.
With the latest ruling, Disposti said they were looking for America to continue to be an exemplary leader in human rights and justice for all.
“We were hoping for this outcome,” he said, adding that you never know. He didn’t know which way Justice Anthony Kennedy was going to go.
“All it took was just one person really to move in the right direction,” he said.
Through continual actions of lobbying, activism and collaboration, Disposti said that they’d continue to press for true equality.
“We have a lot to do — the stigma, the mental health needs in our community. What marriage does, it’s a landmark victory that will help our community start healing, but as history teaches us…ignorance fights. So we still have to educate the community about everything else besides marriage.”
According to Disposti, 40 percent of homeless youth in the country self-identify as LGBT.
“Changing hearts and minds is the only way to go,” Disposti said. “We went from homosexuality being illegal in the ‘70s to marriage equality in 2015, which is certainly a great progress,” he said.