Congratulations to us!
It’s hard to even know where to begin. Last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court finally affirms our decades-long fight to be able to marry the ones we love.
As Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority opinion: “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,” Kennedy said. “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.”
I am filled with joy and gratitude as I think about what this means for our community.
In 1970 in Minneapolis, the first known same-sex couple applied for a marriage license. We have made remarkable progress since that first gay couple walked into the courthouse 45 years ago. Many in our community—including myself—never imagined we would live to see this day.
As we rightfully celebrate in our homes, communities, and workplaces across the country, it is important for all of us to remember that despite this monumental victory, our work is not yet done.
We were vividly reminded of that in Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion when he said, the decision “is a threat to American democracy.”
In the last six months, we have seen numerous religious exemption bills pop up in legislatures across the country—threatening everything we’ve been working for.
In addition to addressing this and other timely issues as they emerge, Pride Foundation will continue our work around workplace equality, safe schools, healthcare access, food and housing security, and culturally-competent elder care. Everyone deserves to live safely and openly in their local communities, and we won’t rest until that’s the case.
While we look forward to partnering with you on these efforts in the years ahead, we’re also going to take time to celebrate. We can literally feel the love across the country as the Supreme Court confirms what we’ve known for so long—that every loving, committed couple deserves the right to make a lifelong commitment to the person they love.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about what the Supreme Court decision means and the legal analysis, check out these great resources: Freedom to Marry, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, GLAD, and ACLU.
Kris Hermanns is the Executive Director of Pride Foundation. Email Kris.