My Marriage, And Yours
We need more love.
That is what it all comes down to. My work, my mission, my philosophy–we need more love.
Just two weeks ago, my heart was breaking as I watched coverage of the hate-fueled violence at Club Q. I wept for and with my LGBTQIA+ friends, both those I have and those I have yet to meet. Now, still heart-broken that horrors like those that unfolded in Colorado Springs are still a regular part of our American life, today’s House vote also makes me hopeful for the future of the American Dream and its accessibility to all.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 258-169 to pass the Respect for Marriage Act. This piece of legislation, for the first time, makes same-sex marriages and interracial marriages (like mine), protected under federal law. That is HUGE!
While Loving v. Virginia declared interracial marriage legal nation-wide in 1967, the legality of same-sex marriage is a much more recent precedent. At the same time that I was exercising my right to protest, getting arrested in front of the White House and on the Supreme Court steps, I was watching rights be explicitly denied to hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens as President Clinton signed the so-called “Defense” of Marriage Act. That law, banning federal recognition of same-sex marriages, stood for 17 years, struck down less than a decade ago with United States v. Windsor in 2013.
“To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law.”
– Chief Justice Warren, Loving v. Virginia, 1967
Some say that past precedent makes this law unnecessary. I see it differently.
Before I even landed on this Earth, past precedent protected my right to bodily autonomy. It was a given my entire life. I never thought I would lose my right to decide when and how to become a parent. Then, just this year, nearly fifty years of precedent was destroyed. As Roe v. Wade was overturned by our current Supreme Court, I knew that there were no givens. If my rights to make choices about my body can be ripped away, what confidence can I have that my other rights, such as my right to marry whomever I choose, is secure?
The Respect for Marriage Act isn’t just necessary. It’s vital to the survival of the democracy and American Dream that we hold dear. It’s also (hopefully) just the beginning. We need more. More federal legislation, more protections, more rights, more love. We need more love.
Two weeks ago I wept for the lives lost during the brutal hate crime that wounded a nation. And in the next few days, I will celebrate with tears of joy as President Biden signs the Respect for Marriage Act into law. Protecting my marriage, and yours.