In 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on a landmark case, Obergefell v Hodges. At stake was the right for same-sex couples to get married. In a 5-4 decision, marriage equality became law in the United States. In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote:
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.
Hours after this ruling, many same-sex couples, some who had waited years, rushed out to their county courthouse to get their marriage licenses so they could be married.
After fifteen years together, my partner, Ira, and I decided we would be one of those couples to marry that day. When we arrived at the county courthouse, we realized we were the first to be married in the courthouse.
We were interviewed and photographed for the local paper. The next day, we were out to our conservative county when we discovered that we were the front page of the local newspaper. We both were pleasantly surprised by the well wishes and acceptance.
Today we celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary and twenty total years together. I am truly grateful for all those years and all the years yet to come. This wouldn’t have been possible without that ruling.
Five years after that monumental decision by the Supreme Court, the LGBTQ+ community celebrates another victory in the form of protection against discrimination for being gay or transgender in the workplace. We, as a community, are not done in our fight for equality but it is also important to cherish our victories. So, I would like to take this opportunity to wish a happy anniversary to all the LGBTQ+ couples that were married since that day. May you have many more years to come.
Were you or someone you know married on June 26, 2015? Tell us your memories in the comments or on our social media.
Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one contributing writer and may not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors
All photographs are shared from the personal library of the author/photographer.