L’Chaim to marriage equality! Idit Klein, Executive Director of Keshet, writes on JTA: “I think of the road ahead in order to pass federal non-discrimination legislation that protects all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. I think of the even longer journey of cultural change following legal progress. I think about the role that our Jewish communities can play in accelerating the pace of change.”
Four years ago, I stood under a chuppah with the woman I was about to marry overlooking a valley in Massachusetts. I have an emotional memory of sweetness and joy from my wedding day, but I can’t recall many specific moments.
What I do remember vividly is the end of our ceremony, when Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld declared, “I’ve said this many times before as an act of civil disobedience, but today it gives me great joy to say as an act of civil obedience: According to the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I now pronounce you married.”
I still feel sudden elation when I remember that moment and surprise that it mattered as much as it did. It mattered that my marriage was seen as valid and equal in the eyes of the law in Massachusetts. And thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last Friday, my marriage, and the marriages of countless others, are valid and equal in all 50 states.
For the young children of many of my colleagues and friends who have attended same-sex weddings and know many gay and lesbian couples, the excitement is unremarkable, even bewildering. But of course, the road to achieving legal marriage equality in this country was long and arduous. Friday’s victory is, indeed, remarkable.