Being a Justice of the Supreme Court is a bit like being a member of the most exclusive club in the country. After all, there are only nine members at a time. If you’re one of them, not only do you get to make sweeping pronouncements about the very nature of the American constitution, but you also get to wear robes to work. And you can even add racing stripes if you think they look cool.
But, like most exclusive clubs, the Supreme Court can leave the rest of us feeling a bit left out. As the Justices prepare their decisions in the two landmark marriage equality cases, many people are wondering how best to show their support for equality this week. So I’ve put together a list. Here are your most powerful tools:
1. Go Red. Join the movement.
During oral arguments back in March, millions of Americans (literally, Facebook counted) changed their profile picture to a red version of the Human Rights Campaign logo. It may have made Facebook chat harder to use, but it sent a powerful message in support of equality across the country.
What we say on social media matters. And with decisions imminent, it’s easier now than ever before to send the right message. HRC has put out a new website and iPhone and Android app that you can use to personalize your current photos to show your support at this decisive moment.
2. Learn and help teach.
These cases are about more than who can get married and who can’t. They’re also about which marriages the government recognizes and which it treats as invalid. They’re about what kind of couple can and can’t file taxes together, or claim joint Social Security benefits. And as complicated as that sounds, the rulings in these cases are likely to be even more complicated than that.
Once these decisions come out, everyone will have questions, and misinformation is bound to crop up. Help tamp it down. Take a look at this page that breaks down what’s at stake in these cases. Then, share it in order to help spread awareness.
3. Fight for equality everywhere, for everyone.
As important as these cases are, even the most sweeping victory imaginable won’t guarantee equality for the LGBT community. No matter how broadly the Court rules, it will still be perfectly legal to fire or refuse to hire someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity in more than half the states in America. The LGBT community generally, and the transgender community specifically, will still be disproportionately likely to face harassment and violence. Kids will still be kicked out of their homes every day because of who they are.
In other words, no matter how the Court rules, we need to fight for equality on all fronts. Help pass laws like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, so that every American is guaranteed the right to be him/herself on the job. Support equality efforts everywhere, from your own hometown all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
And, just FYI, there’s technically no rule about not having racing stripes on your outfit while you do it.