After big win, LGBT activists look beyond marriage

(CBS News)-  Two days after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in a landmark 5-4 ruling, an army of demonstrators with New York City’s gay pride parade thundered down Fifth Avenue on Sunday, offering a new twist on a familiar protest chant.

“What do we want?”

“Marriage equality!”

“When did we get it?”


The episode, documented by the New York Times, reflected a movement at a crossroads. For at least a decade, the most visible, galvanizing cause in the struggle for gay equality was the fight for same-sex marriage. It drove the fundraising, nabbed the headlines, and helped change the way American politics and culture interacted with the LGBT community.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday, though, the fight for marriage equality is over, notwithstanding a few isolated pockets of resistance. Now, activists who have poured themselves into the fight for years are confronting a simple question: What’s next?

The short answer: Quite a bit.

Many activists, leery of the Republican Party’s embrace of “religious freedom” measures, are pushing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and commerce. Some are working to secure greater legal protections for the transgender community. Others are working to draw attention or draw to the plight of LGBT youths, homeless people, and elderly people.

Some who saw fight for marriage equality as a distraction, even a mark of privilege, are hopeful that more underplayed elements of the struggle for LGBT equality will now get the airing they deserve.

There are, it seems, no shortage of causes to which LGBT activists are devoting their attention. And as America’s rapid evolution on the marriage issue will attest, this is a community that plays to win.

Here, in their own words, four foot soldiers in the fight for LGBT equality tell CBS News what Friday’s Supreme Court ruling meant for them – and what’s next.

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