There are so many stories today, of how we went from zero to fifty, of how we became a nation where marriage equality is the law of the land. There are so many people to thank and acknowledge — all those who fought the good fight for so many decades and across generations. And there is so much joy, and love overflowing for the entire LGBT community, our families, our friends, our allies.
There once was a wall, a wall that has been cracking and splitting, a wall that has been gradually succumbing to the hammers forged by all the gay men and women who came out to all the people they knew and all those in their day-to-day world. Their self-acceptance and demand for recognition was a sledge hammer, a mighty force for justice. There once was a wall, a wall that has been crumbling before all the legal cases brought forward in so many courts for so many years. “We have made our union a little more perfect,” said President Obama of today’s Supreme Court ruling. “…hearts and minds…” can shift, he said. His heart and mind made that shift in 2012, when he declared his support for marriage equality. In just three years since our President changed his mind, the wall between gay American citizens and full recognition of their civil rights began to visibly and resoundingly crash. And today, that wall came tumbling down.
I grew up in a world where being gay held only negative connotations, and to love someone of my own gender meant I was outside the norm. Now I can grow old in an America where loving, same-sex couples who choose to commit themselves to one another are afforded the dignity of marriage, their rights recognized in each and every state of these United States.
Nearly 37 years ago, my beloved Donna and I made our vows to one another. Of today’s Supreme Court decision, Donna said, “Who wudda thunk?” The answer is, when she and I were young, nobody. Nobody thought it because same-sex marriage was impossible, nearly inconceivable. But just as she and I knew that our life together was a real marriage, only in want of a legal license, people all across the land began thinking that same-sex marriage must be legal — it was only right, and just. And so the impossible began to be more and more probable, and eleven months ago, in the presence of friends, we spoke our marriage vows before the Chief Clerk of Benton County in Corvallis, Oregon. In July, when we mark the one-year anniversary of our wedding, we will remember this day, and say thank you, again, to all those who made it possible.
And today, we celebrate, joined in joy with people in all fifty states, and affirmed in Martin Luther King’s belief that “…the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Hallelujah, and amen.