What It Feels Like To Look Back On My First Year Of Gay Marriage


On a warm summer evening, my fiancé and I listened to NPR as we drove across the state line of Colorado into New Mexico. We began to laugh hysterically, as the broadcaster announced Colorado would begin recognizing and granting same-sex marriages.

Ironically, we were making our sojourn to be married in a state that allowed same-sex marriage on the very day it became legal in our home state.

As I write this, all 50 states recognize same-sex marriage.

In the court case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same-sex marriage is protected under the 14th Amendment.

There has been vehement debate about allowing same-sex marriage in this country in the past few decades.

Anti-gay marriage advocates have said marriage equality would redefine marriage, and LGBTQ couples who married would destroy the very bedrock of this sacred institution.

Some have even gone on to say same-sex marriage would destroy long-standing heterosexual marriages.

I read in the news recently that a couple from Australia has vowed to separate if marriage equality comes to fruition in Australia. They claim same-sex marriage is dangerous to society and to children.

Considering all of this, apparently marrying my fiancé would have many major social implications.

I guess with great power comes great responsibility. July 2015 will mark our first official year of marriage, and as I reflect on the year I have spent with my husband, I can't help but wonder how many heterosexual marriages we have destroyed.

How many well-to-do betrothals have crumbled in the wake of our love? Does our appetite for destruction know no bounds?!

You see, the anti-gay marriage advocates would have you think being in a same-sex marriage is this sinister, unfamiliar, immoral plot to unravel the very fabric of society.

All the while, my husband and I are deciding which Netflix series we are going to binge on next, whose turn it is to do the laundry and how we are going to swing the student loan bill this month.

Most of these things I don't even change out of my pajamas for. Our same-sex marriage -- as I like to call it, our marriage -- has the same worries, triumphs and failures our heterosexual counterparts have.

We worry about bills, buying a house, having children, developing dad bods, all while arguing about which restaurant to go to. Like any young couple, we are learning about the path to building a life together.

When we married, I wondered how it would affect others, considering all the opposition we faced.

After a year of careful and genuine observation, I can officially say nothing has happened to our straight friends' romantic relationships, or, indeed, any other non-friend's straight relationship.

We have not denied anyone their religious freedom. No churches have closed due to our relationship. No government worker was forced to religiously object to officiating our vows.

Instead, life goes on.

We support each other's careers; we are saving to buy a house, exploring our options for having children and, overall, just living our lives.

Equality did not give us special privilege or take rights away from others.

Our marriage served two purposes: It gave us the opportunity to legally protect ourselves, and announce our commitment to each other in front of our friends and family.

As my husband and I continue with our lives, like millions of other legally married Americans, I can't help but marvel at the profound changes this country has undergone in the pursuit of equality in just my short lifetime.

There was a time when I walked away from my state legislative building after hearing the disheartening verdict upholding that marriage was between a man and a woman, and I remember seeing the uphill battle laid out before me.

Remember, there was a time.