I know it’s been about eight months since I started as the editor of the Weekly Record Herald and I haven’t yet said hello or introduced myself. And for that I’m sorry.
See, I was asked to be the maid of honor in my sister’s wedding. And since she was finishing up her last semester of college, I ended up being more of wedding planner instead.
In addition to learning the ropes here at the Record Herald, I’ve taken on a lot of new and unexpected roles in the last year. Florist, wedding invitation wizard, professional bridesmaid wrangler, and they don’t teach you any of those things in journalism school.
But like a good big sister — and with only a minimum amount of complaining — I folded and glued paper flowers, met caterers, headed off potential bridal meltdowns, and negotiated hemlines with my sister’s seven other bridesmaids. If you’ve ever been involved in planning a wedding then you know that they’re serious business.
And if you’ve turned on a TV in the last few days, you know just how big a deal marriage is right now.
On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. Across the the country, LGBT folks are joyously exercising a right that they should have always had, and are marrying the people they love.
“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,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in this historic decision. “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Those are some powerful words.
The news came in as I was finishing up the paper flowers for my sister’s wedding. And I won’t lie to you, readers, I dropped the hot glue gun and cried for a minute. The tears were mostly out of happiness for all my friends and family, and for all the lovers out there who can now get married just like my sister and her new husband did last weekend.
But the moment seemed bittersweet for everyone who has had to wait decades for this ruling, and for all those who never got to see this historic occasion.
It’s also important to remember that the fight for equal rights isn’t over. LGBT people still face harrassment, discrimination, and violence every day. In many states — including this one — they can legally be fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For all of the recent gains the transgender community has made in terms of visibility and legal protection, they are still the targets of extreme violence. In the first two months of 2015, trans women of color were murdered at a rate of almost one per week.
But for my friends and I, who first marched for marriage equality in Washington, D.C., six years ago, and for the people who have been fighting for this even longer than that, last Saturday’s ruling was a hugely important victory.
Are there a more weddings in my future now that all of my friends can legally get married? I hope so.
But nobody better ask me to be their wedding planner.
Cecilia Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her No. 1 wedding planning tip is to just elope.