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Sunday, June 26, 2016

One Year On: Marriage Equality USA

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of 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.

--Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority
in Obergefell v. Hodges, June 26, 2015

A year ago today, the Supreme Court made its landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States.  What a joyous day that was, so long awaited by so many, and the beginning of many happy marriages - legal at last. Here's that day's report from NBC News:

Not the least of those happy couples rushing to courthouses across the country were Jack Evans and George Harris, who first met in 1961 and were a committed couple for over half a century, and were the first gay couple to marry in Dallas a year ago today.

Sadly, Jack passed away in a Dallas hospital last Thursday, with George at his side, but their story continues to inspire all of us who believe in the right to love whom we choose.  Here's an oral history interview they did in 2013:

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