I got to marry her: Celebrating six years of marriage equality
Saturday, June 26 marks six years since the Supreme Court declared marriage equality the law of the land.
This past year, I got to live the outcome of the historic decision and marry the greatest woman I know.
In August, my wife and I will celebrate our first anniversary. Like most couples who married in 2020, our wedding was not at all what we planned. Our original guest list of 300 people shrunk to 100 and then to 50 and finally to 25. Our venue changed from a large event space to my parents’ backyard. There was distancing, mask wearing, and individually boxed food.
But I got to marry her, and it was beautiful.
At times throughout the planning, it was hard not to take that right for granted. It just felt so obvious to us that our love should be considered as valid as anyone else’s. Our abnormal pandemic wedding felt so normal, our challenges exactly the same as those all other engaged couples were experiencing.
But I know that feeling is a privilege.
Not that long ago, it was unfathomable even to many LGBTQ+ rights activists that nationwide marriage equality would ever become reality. Some marriage equality activists were even told to focus their efforts elsewhere in the LGBTQ+ movement, that this particular cause was simply a losing battle.
I am so glad they didn’t listen.
As my now wife and I navigated the stress of constantly changing laws about how many people could gather, as well as our own anxieties about keeping our loved ones safe, I reminded myself that the single most important thing was that nothing could stop us from saying “I do,” whether we said it with guests or we said it alone.
We got to say those two words to each other due to the courage of people we will never know, people who marched and fought for our ability to feel like our love being equal is obvious.
But the fight, of course, is far from over. LGBTQ+ people—and especially transgender people—are still under attack every day by state legislatures that have spent 2021 introducing a historic number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills.
Rates of violence, economic insecurity, and homelessness remain high in the LGBTQ+ community. What’s more, The Equality Act, which would pass sweeping federal protections for LGBTQ+ people, still hangs in the balance.
But marriage equality wasn’t unwinnable, and neither are the rest of the rights the LGBTQ+ community deserves.
So we can’t stop marching and we can’t stop fighting. But this weekend, we can pause and take a moment to celebrate a decision that so many fought so hard for, and one that has led to innumerable beautiful things.
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