This is what history feels like. Today, one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in my lifetime was handed down. Same-sex couples are entitled to marry just like anyone else, and have their marriages recognized in all 50 states.
Kansas, where I live, was one of the few remaining state that prohibited gay marriage. As of today, it is the law of the land that everyone has the same rights when it comes to marriage.
I’m not sure how long it will take for me to stop saying “gay” marriage and just call it marriage. I think it’s going to take awhile because over the last few years I’ve said “gay marriage” many thousands of times, I’m sure.
This morning when I saw the notices on Facebook of the court’s decision, I asked if anyone wanted to go to dinner tonight to celebrate. Eventually we ended up with 20 people, 22 including another couple that decided to come last minute and couldn’t sit with us because we couldn’t add any more tables, but did get to come and visit. It was a great group. I wanted to be with like-minded people tonight.
I was in tears multiple times today, just from the emotion of seeing something I believe to only be fair and right come to fruition. I thought the decision would go this way, but I was relieved when it did, nonetheless.
Tonight I passed around a journal and asked everyone to write something about the struggle, what today meant, or anything else they’d like to share. I didn’t read it until I got home because I knew it would make me cry. It did. I am constantly flabbergasted at what my gay and lesbian friends have suffered. Just as I will never know what it would be like to walk around in darker skin, I will never know what it feels like to be shunned only because of who I love.
Often criticized for his flowery writing, Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, and his style was perfect for this occasion.
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.
Of course, not everyone is happy. One of my Facebook posts today acknowledged that:
There are people I love who are not sharing my joy today at the ruling on gay marriage. None of those people will be hateful, for which I am thankful. I hope eventually you’ll see this day as a time when our union became a little more perfect, a little more equal, a little better for ALL of us. But, even if you don’t, I’ll keep on loving you. Because #lovewins in all circumstances.
But, despite that, it’s a happy day, a historic day. This is one of the great moments in our nation’s history when something that should be obvious is made the law of the land. Yesterday the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the court. Today gay marriage. If the supreme court had a fan club, I’d join this week.
I would like to see everyone on the right side of history, but if that were possible, there wouldn’t be these issues. Some will always insist on being the Bull Conner’s of the world. With social media they have a bullhorn of a different sort. But the difference today is that we ALL have that bullhorn.
Tonight the White House is lit with rainbow colors. Obama was so eloquent today about the decision.
I am also happy that Obama is getting vindicated. I cried the night he was elected, too. I was so overcome with emotion, with a feeling that we were turning in the right direction. I have that same feeling today. And in his years in office we have healthcare and now marriage equality, both of which will eventually be considered the norm.
I realize there will come a time when people say, “gay marriage, what do you mean?” And we will have to explain that there was a time gay people were not allowed to be married. We will have to explain that there was a day when that changed. Today was that day.
This is what history feels like. Sometimes America gets it right. #lovewins