What Marriage Equality Is Actually About

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 1.51.43 PM Say what you will about Justice Antonin Scalia--he is colorful. In his dissent to today's opinion on marriage equality, he wrote this:

Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie.

(By the way Mr. Justice--the 20th century called and wants its examples back. Hippies? Really?)

Yes, there is a moral beauty and spiritual resonance in what happened today. But let's be focused and clear about what this is about. It is about equal rights under the law.

In the words of Jim Obergefell, the man whose name will forever be linked to today's decision:

Couples across America may now wed and have their marriage recognized and respected no matter what state they call home. No other person will learn at the most painful moment of married life, the death of a spouse, that their lawful marriage will be disregarded by the state. No married couple who moves will suddenly become two single persons because their new state ignores their lawful marriage.

Ethan and Andrew can marry in Cincinnati instead of being forced to travel to another state.

A girl named Ruby can have an accurate birth certificate listing her parents Kelly and Kelly.

Pam and Nicole never again have to fear for Grayden and Orion's lives in a medical emergency because, in their panic, they forgot legal documents that prove both mothers have the right to approve care.

Cooper can grow into a man knowing Joe and Rob are his parents in all ways emotional and legal.

I can finally relax knowing that Ohio can never erase our marriage from John's death certificate, and my husband can now truly rest in peace.

It is so ordered.

~

And a blast from the past: the piece I wrote for TIME almost exactly a year ago when the Presbyterian Church (USA) made the move to marriage equality.

Image: states where gay marriage is legal. Source.