John M. Becker

In an Instant, Everything Changed

Filed By John M. Becker | June 26, 2013 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality
Tags: DOMA, gay marriage, marriage equality, Prop 8, Prop. 8, same-sex marriage, Supreme Court

IMG_1913_iphone_randomstranger.JPGWow. That's all I can say about today's historic Supreme Court decisions striking down the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" and ending Proposition 8, California's marriage discrimination amendment.

I'm still absorbing the shock of it all. As my friend and fellow marriage equality advocate Jeremy Hooper said, in an instant, our marriages went from "skim milk" to whole. In the blink of an eye, thousands of married gay and lesbian couples like Michael and me went from legal strangers in the eyes of the United States of America to legal spouses. There are quite simply no words for what that feels like. It's something that only hearts can know.

Of course, LGBT people are still a long way from being equal. In 38 37 states, same-sex couples cannot legally marry. In 29 states, putting a photo of one's spouse on the desk at work can get gays and lesbians fired from their jobs. And it's legal in 33 states to fire a person for being trans. (And those are just some of the issues we face!)

But make no mistake: today's decisions are incredible milestones on the road to equality. We're not there yet, but we're a giant leap closer than we were when we woke up this morning.

The work continues tomorrow -- and we won't rest until all are equal -- but tonight we celebrate. And this victory is sweet indeed.

P.S. What words cannot express, music sometimes can. So I'll leave you with this video from the Washington National Cathedral, where bells pealed at noon today to celebrate the end of DOMA and the defeat of Prop 8.

This is what my heart felt like this morning when, with my husband by my side, I heard the news. Heck, it's how my heart feels now.

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