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Astonished joy

On November 3rd, 2004, I despaired. 77% of Georgians had voted against marriage equality.

Today, not quite 11 years later, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage.

I wept tears of joy when I heard. I called Terrance; I tried to call Scott. I need to e-mail Baxter and other friends.

But Terrance was the first person I called. I think of all his Red and Black articles, his feisty debates, his activism, his determination, him and Rick being the "poster couple" for gay parents taking their children to the White House's Easter egg hunt. He has always been such a passionate fighter, and I admire him so much.

He and so many have fought so long and so hard for this moment.

Things aren't perfect. As I type this, you can still be fired for your sexual orientation in 29 states.

But what an enormous victory. Some of the dearest people in my life can now safely travel from coast to coast, knowing that they won't be married in one state and not married in another. Knowing that they now have all the rights that result from marriage: they cannot be barred from a hospital room on the grounds that they are not kin to their spouse; insurance must recognize their marriage as legal and legitimate. There don't have to be any more euphemisms, no more "longtime companion" entries. So many things.

Much love to all of you. I haven't been this happy for anything in a very long time -- I am overjoyed. I wish Charlie, Bobby, and other friends who are now gone were here to see this moment, but I take comfort from seeing the pictures of couples in their eighties for whom it was not too late. My niece will scarcely remember a time when this wasn't the norm. I thought of Terrance and Rick's children: their sons may remember, but it will be a distant childhood memory. For their adult lives, it will be the norm. SCOTUS changed the future today. Going forward, it will just be the way things are. As it should be. :)

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