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Marriage Equality is Here For Good

In its historic decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges, the Supreme Court has finally made marriage equality the law of the land. All 50 states are now required to issue marriage license to same-sex couples — and all 50 states must recognize those marriages.

It’s been a long road to get here. When I first ran for Senate back in 2007, I was one of the few candidates talking about marriage equality. After all, marrying my wife Franni was the best thing that ever happened to me. Why shouldn’t same-sex couples have that same experience?

Seemed like common sense. But back then, only one state allowed same-sex couples to marry.

The momentum for marriage equality picked up pretty fast over the last few years. More and more Americans declared their support for marriage equality. More and more states started embracing it.

Minnesota became the 12th state to allow same-sex couples to marry in 2012.

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This is a historic moment. From this day forward, same-sex couples in America won’t have to worry about if they can marry the person they love. They don’t have to feel like their love — or their families — are lesser than others. As Justice Kennedy wrote in his opinion for the Supreme Court in Obergefell:

“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.”

There is still work to do to achieve full equality for our LGBT friends and family members. We have to put an end to bullying of LGBT students in schools. We have to stop discrimination of LGBT individuals in the workplace.

But this is a monumental step forward in the road to equality — and for now, we can spare a little time to celebrate.

– Al