What Do Progress and Marriage Have in Common?

Posted on Thursday, Jun 04, 2015

In anticipation of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling on same-sex marriage, I reflect on how different life would be in a new era. I work at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) here at Washington D.C.; so as you can imagine, this decision is a big deal for our organization. If you don’t know what HRC is about, here is its broad-picture mission statement: “The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.” It follows that a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage will further advance HRC’s vision.

But isn’t marriage between two people of the same sex kind of unnatural? And what about people who end having to live in a country where their morals conflict with the law? It’s true that the decision on same-sex marriage will have winners and losers, but that doesn’t mean the law is discriminating against certain constituents. Running a country is no easy task; in fact, with such a diverse population, it is nearly impossible to please a constituent without hurting another constituent. The laws that shape our country serve to protect our most basic liberties, while trying to adapt to a constantly changing world. I admit that my bias towards favoring same-sex marriage might have something to do with my worldview that the countries that adapt to their environments survive; but that Darwinian ideal is too narrow an explanation to account for the complex nuances of society. Instead, I try to comprehend the sentiments that exist and internalize the far-reaching effects that this decision will have, living with the possibility that same-sex marriage rights don’t become protected in the immediate future.

In sum, America’s ideal of social progress will be scrutinized with whichever decision SCOTUS rules. There is no better time to experience this social transformation first-hand than with the opportunity that the Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP) from Texas A&M University (TAMU) has offered me through my internship with HRC.

Todd Lim
Human Rights Campaign
Washington, D.C. - Summer 2015

Tags: Advocacy, Policy, SCOTUS, Washington