Back in December I had to go into the hospital for some minor surgery. "Who is this," one of the hospital workers said to me, looking at my husband. "This is my health care surrogate," I said. Being a legally savvy man in an unrecognized marriage, I did what I had to do to give my partner, my husband of 15 years, the right to make decisions for me should anything go wrong, and even the right to see me in the recovery room.
These basic rights that most take for granted have been denied to families like mine for too long and now those dark days are over.
WASHINGTON — In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the 5 to 4 decision. He was joined by the court’s four more liberal justices.
The decision, the culmination of decades of litigation and activism, came against the backdrop of fast-moving changes in public opinion, with polls indicating that most Americans now approve of same-sex marriage.
Justice Kennedy said gay and lesbian couples have a fundamental right to marry.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” he wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
“It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage,” Justice Kennedy said of the couples challenging state bans on same-sex 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.”
Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins— President Obama (@POTUS) June 26, 2015
There is more to come for sure! This decision isn't going to solve all our problems. But the two major forms of discrimination that members of the LGBT community faced in my generation — the military ban on gays (DADT) and prohibition on same-sex marriage — are now history and that is a wonderful, beautiful thing!