Saturday, June 27, 2015

Our Marriage is Now Equal and The Whole World Knows It!

By Robert Hudson Westover

My husband and I knew something incredibly unusual for us was unfolding after the Marriage Equality ruling was handed down last Friday by the Supreme Court. We were there, outside the imposing white marble facade of America's most iconic building of Justice with the words carved in marble above it's giant bronze doors: Equal Justice Under Law.

The general consensus was that a ruling wasn't supposed to be handed down until Monday, June 29, or the high court's last day in session for the year. This is how the other landmark Gay Rights rulings had been handled in the past (see my previous blog post on the End of DOMA ruling in 2013).

Tom and I ten minutes before the Marriage Equality Ruling.
But I had a premonition that it would happen on Friday and told Tom we needed to get to the Court in the morning, before 10 AM (the time that rulings for the day are handed down). Fortunately, we both work walking distance from the Supreme Court, so we rendezvoused at about 15 minutes before the rulings of the day would be announced. 

Would I be right?

Our hearts beat rapidly in anticipation as we hoped and prayed that for the first time in our lives, the statement Equal Justice would be met out in its totality. Would this day bring us unfathomable joy by changing our lives forever and making our marriage, our love, truly equal under the law? Or would it be yet another half measure of dignity handed out to us like ravaged prisoners hoping for the full pardon that would someday open our cell doors and free us--forever--from the jail house of second class citizenship? 

We knew this ruling was going to change the lives of millions...Tom and I just two of those millions.

And when that crowd shouted out LOVE HAS WON! we jumped for joy, broke into tears and just held each other.

A picture taken of US by CBS News moments after the ruling.

It took 15 years to get Equal Justice in our marriage.

Many, many more years for many others.

"What do you think of the swiftness of the change?" One reporter asked us. Tom replied "Swiftness? It's been over 50 years since WE started our fight for equality. It hasn't come fast enough... We love you Justice Kennedy!"

"Kiss your husband!" a reporter asked, so I did!

And then many other reporters started asking us questions, taking our picture and filming us. This had happened the last time a great barrier of bigotry had fallen: DOMA. In fact, the reporters were asking lots of us, lots of questions. We were more than thrilled to respond. Maybe some young person, struggling under the weight of oppression might hear our story and be inspired to love themselves, feel sorry for their persecutors and look forward to a life in a community of kindred hearts.

But, to our amazement, that day, our ripple in the pond of outreach was beyond anything we could have imagined. We knew this when a text arrived from a friend we hadn't heard from in ages telling us to look at CBS New's Twitter page. There we were, in full embrace--our devotion and love--for all the world to see.

And the world did see, read and hear from us! On six continents! 

As the day unfolded, and into the night, the texts and Facebook messages kept coming: Saw you in the Huffington Post! One friend wrote from LA. Then the PBS News Hour reporter who had interview us texted to tell us we'd be featured at the top of the hour as the Network's lead story.

Three days later and we're still blown away. Think of how many millions of LGBTQ folks have seen that, "Yes, it does get better." 

Tom and I are so very humbled and grateful to have been able to speak for the LGBTQ Community that historic day. There were so many of us, the quiet foot soldiers there that day, and many of our voices were not broadcast to the world. That's the price we pay for loyalty to our cause, to our community.

From the Huffington Post. 

But, sometimes, like what happened for us, the spotlight turns and there you are. As Christians we believe that God does work in mysterious ways. We don't always understand it, but all things can (and often do) work together for those who have faith. So many words and expressions are timeless and this quote from Psalms really says it for us--for what happened on that momentous day "This is the Lord's work and it is marvelous in our eyes..."


Below are links to some of the worldwide media coverage our voice received.

North America:
Lead story PBS News Hour

Yahoo News

The Huffington Post

CBS News Twitter

International Pick Up

South America:




Middle East:


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