On Friday, the Supreme Court made history by ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, bringing marriage equality to the entire United States. Now, gay and lesbian couples can legally wed in every state in the country.
The decision is obviously a huge victory for the LGBT rights movement, representing the culmination of decades of advocacy work to ensure marriage equality for people of all sexual orientations. It also follows a remarkable shift in public opinion on the subject over the past decade, as support for legal same-sex marriage skyrocketed to record highs.
“Today we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect,” President Obama said in a speech following the the decision, before pointing out that there’s still work left to be done.
Indeed, even as LGBT Americans have made huge progress in securing marriage equality, many other areas of the law lag behind. While same-sex couples will now have many of the legal benefits afforded through marriage, there are still states that don’t protect LGBT individuals from discrimination at their jobs, in their homes, in their schools, or at their doctors’ offices.
“Most states have no nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people,” David Stacy, the government affairs director for the Human Rights Campaign, told NPR this week. “With limited or no federal protections, an LGBT person can get legally married in most states, but then be evicted from an apartment and denied a home loan.”