“You’re Going to Be a Good Lawyer”

It’s been two years since I attend my university to pursue a law degree. As a future Bachelor of Law (LL.B ) or as what we call it here as Sarjana Hukum it is expected that I should have found an interest in law just like what I thought I had in high school. Fighting for justice while obtaining a great range of knowledge in the midst of beautiful literature translated within the laws. Yet I feel uninspired and it made me – I mean, it still makes me believe that I wasn’t good enough for this career. I envy those who had a dream, who had learned hard enough until they found voices that guide them to their dreams, or at least voices that tell them that they have a dream. I have not got it.

Until the second week of my fifth semester, during Conflict of Laws class. It was amongst jokingly discussing my professor’s ethnic background (he challenged us, by the way) due to his racial ambiguity that he finally point out a question: “how do you prove that you are of a particular ethnical background?” Two students before me took an opportunity to present their argument, another one was left stunned. The professor then pointed his finger at me.

“You, what is your name?”

“Selena, sir.”

“Oh! Are you Italiano?” he took a guess upon hearing my name.

I can only slowly shook my head as everyone else in class giggled on his absurd remarks.

“So where are you from then?

“My parents are Padangnese.”

The lecturer for the fourth time asked the same question, now to me.

“Umm.. you can see my parents’ wedding photograph?” My answer sounded more like a challenge than anything else. He responded with another challenge: “What else?” he asked, which I answered that I have a family house back in West Sumatra to prove him. He then laughed and shook his finger upside down. Whether it’s pity, shock, or just pure surprise that an answer like that came up. True that it’s not exactly a good legal basis – but a somewhat unxpected reasoning.

“I can tell that you’re going to be a good lawyer.”

Then someone comes at the door which resulted in my professor to kick him out of the class for not respecting the class punctuality. His remarks end there, with him apologizing for the disturbance and just continued his lecture on the importance of evidence. But boy, I shed a tear within that moment. It was the first time I was recognized in a way where my potential are valued specifically in the field of law. Such sentence, a short compliment from a person I respect had changed my perspective that I can do it, I can face law school, I can be good at something, I can achieve greatness. All from a professor who was so impressed of that one answer regarding a photograph.

I don’t care that the moment was disturbed, or that no one else heard that remark. Just that alone however becomes an amazing motivation that assures me that I’m on the right path, there’s something in me that I shall believe, I am not dysfunctional.

Funnily enough before writing this post and upon hearing my lecturer’s remark, I was about to write a post titled ‘Regret on Entering Law School’. Now I realize I was just desperate for an acknowledgment and an encouragement. Although now I had not catalyzed a dream which I am sure of, I believe that I can find it someday. Maybe in law, maybe in something else. But I have to be sure that I can be good at it. And you have too.


The Significance of The Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

The Supreme Court of the United States concluded an opinion upon the Obergefell v. Hodges case regarding to the legalization of gay marriage in all 50 states by June 26th 2015, deeming it constitutional by their authority and provide the provisions for all people, regardless of orientation, shall have the right to marry, to love, to express. The decision had brought (as it is had always been accompanied by) great debate concerning the support or opposition to the concept of same-sex marriage, let alone its relationship and matter of sexuality that has not yet been greatly recognized. This occurs not only within the United States and this decision bring forth the topic to a greater awareness across layers of the population.

By the time the decision had made public, the world rejoices. Global brands tweeted their congratulatory marks with an innovative catchphrase that includes the hashtag #LoveWins, multiple companies decorated their logo with the alignment of the rainbow flag representing the Pride, and maybe you and your friends had been updating your Facebook profile picture with an overlay of rainbow flags in celebration of the decision. This time, we would not talk about why you should or should not agree with the decision favored by the majority of the United States Supreme Court justices. Instead, we shall recognize the importance of the historical declaration established by the decision — not just within the United States, but also around the globe.

1. It promotes equality

Or just, or fairness, or whatever the legal jargon is for it. The decision had further encompassed the concept of freedom and the power of the people through a democratic concept set by the system of the court. It brings the issue forward. The United States, in its power as one of the most powerful country in the world has set an inspiring settlement to the concept of same-sex marriage that might have been foreign in some countries and frowned upon in most communities. The settlement had proven that the power of democracy will come forth especially within a reminder that constitutional rights belong to everyone within the scope of the concept. The decision would hopefully encompass equality and further eliminate discrimination one’s sexuality; to encourage differences until it no longer makes a difference.

2. It affirms the legal standing

The decision gives a legal recognition to the sanctity of marriage regardless of one’s sex and sexuality. It became the ground to the lawfulness of numerous marriages celebrated after the decision. This would also project the image of the United States as a place that is open to the LGBTQIA+ community through one small step to another as the issue proposed issue to the court were regarding the question whether the Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry. As the fourteenth amendment of the United States, constitution provides such guarantee, shall other countries reflect their own to further elaborate the concept of marriage across different sexualities

3. It provides security

The changes can go to an amazing distance from eliminating bullying onto saving one’s lives. People need to recognize this as United States has become a home to numerous LGBT refugees from many countries, providing protection and safety from great threats that one may suffer due to their sexuality as thousands of LGBT individuals have come to the United States in the hopes to escape discrimination and abuse in their countries. The further development of the decision can start from legalizing one’s sexuality to wholly appreciate and protect the relationship of the subjects in its widespread in other areas of the world as the LGBT community becomes tolerated.

4. It encourages acceptance

No matter what your belief is, the decision is great news for humanity as it brings the human rights issues forward. Seeing the positivity deriving from the decision, it is only about the time where people shall learn to be more accepting and to start seeing in a perspective in a more open-minded discussion. This decision shall surely provoke discussions, but only would then people became more understanding to one another. Constitutional Court has elaborated the law to be a measure equal to all, with such spirit then there shall be more justification of the concept of sexuality in the marriage institution.

5. It inspires 

“Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits,” stated by Chief Justice John G. Roberts. The United States has now successfully deliver the aspiration of their people, followed by immediate joyful implementations as gay marriages are now celebrated in all states as we speak. The success shall then hopefully inspire many other nation to recognize the power of the people and their liberty to be recognized despite their sexuality.

You don’t have to agree with the lifestyle but shall then respect to the way in which others are living their lives and not exclude people into obtaining their rights. With this as means to promote the rights of all, may the decision become an evidence, despite the difference of views and understanding of the different person in the hope that humanity shall come through.