Two Years Later, What It Means to Be Wed

Ten couples who were highlighted in The New York Times the day after same-sex marriage was legalized reflect on the landmark court decision.

Comments: 44

  1. I was struck by the number of Michigan couples showcased in this piece, especially considering that legislation within our state still allows for many forms of LGBTQ+ discrimination. For instance, protections against employment discrimination are established in only 32 out of 533 municipalities in the state.

    My heart is warmed by these touching stories and their endearing examples of commitment, but the fight is not yet over.

  2. Exactly my reaction: my heart is warmed by these touching stories! And I was struck by the number of years these couples we together.
    Yes: still much to do

  3. You know you've made it when "Say Yes to the Dress" can air episodes about 2 brides who will marry each other and say with no hint of irony "We really want a very traditional wedding."

  4. Congratulations and best wishes for happy and fulfilling lives together! Each of you are fortunate to have found love with the person that will love you back. Oh, what joy if each of us could find that person.

  5. Mazel tov to all these wonderful couples.

  6. And yet there is still no federal civil rights law protecting all LGBT Americans from discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations similar to the legal protection that outlaws bias based on gender, race, ethnicity, and religious belief or non-belief.
    Progress, certainly. Full equality, certainly not.

  7. And we can't expect those rights to be granted or supported by this administration. Sad.

  8. If we did, we'd need to have our collective heads examined.

  9. I read the headline of this article and had to shake my head, not because it's inappropriate to ask "what same-sex marriage means two years later" but because it reminded me of the discrimination - no, more than that - the denigration of my feelings and ability to live my life as an equal member of society with whomever I chose as my spouse. Even the most well-meaning people simply cannot understand what it means to grow up knowing that you will never have the opportunity to establish a partnership that will be recognized by the country of your birth, no rights and benefits can be afforded to the one you love, you will be forever subjected to indignities such as hospital visitation, making life decisions, leaving federal benefits and so on. Is it any wonder that the pride in being "American" was never something I could embrace? Everything changed the day I saw the White House bathed in the colors of the LGBT movement. That was the first day I was proud to be an American and, notwithstanding the current horrors facing this country, very little resistance was actually seen when compared to France and others and remember there is STILL no recognition for same-sex marriages in Germany, Italy and many other EU countries. So what does it mean to have married my husband? It means EVERYTHING to me,and NOTHING has ever been more important to me. What, after all, is more important than loving whom we choose and receiving protections and recognitions from one's country?

  10. Manhattan William,
    Thank you for describing what so many people feel, but cannot articulate like you have.

    No one should be under governmental lock and key with love and life sharing in marriage. What we are born should have nothing to do with other people, government, or church.

    The best to you. May you and your husband find everlasting happiness.

  11. ManhattanWilliam - Thank you for reminding me that President Obama ordered that the White House be bathed in the colors of equal dignity. Even just reflecting on that memory gives me solace during this (hopefully transient) national disaster.

    We take a step forward, we take step back, but I hope and believe that our overall momentum as people and as a country is in the right direction.

  12. Congratulations to all these couples - your courage to share your stories and your obvious love for each other is admirable. If only Australia's politicians could get a move on.

  13. I read these beautiful stories and wonder why, oh why, same-sex marriage is so upsetting to many.

    All the best to these lovely couples, so glad they've been able to share the joys of being married to the person they love.

  14. There are people about in state legislatures across this country who would like to dismantled the Hodges vs Obergefell ruling. They are still viewing our world through biblical lenses. Marriage equality is important, deserved, and undeniable. We married after 26 years. It does matter.

  15. "Lesson learned - that there should have been the right all along...."

    Yes, no one should have the right to take love and marriage away from two adults. It's no one else's business.

    Taking love away, taking benefits away, whatever kind, physical, emotional, economical, all these years has been wrong.

    The best to all these folks. And to the many more - they fought the law, and now the law won for them. May many more people in the US be able to love and marry freely and lawfully.

    And may those who have not understood the importance open their minds and hearts.

  16. Congratulations and Best Wishes! But you can expect the same problems straight couples have with marriage and maybe divorce. It's complicated.

  17. Trust us Marshal, we know. Put in the work ----reap the benefits!

  18. Yes, now we have the rights and the responsibilities...I'll take them, after all that is the deal.

  19. My wife and I were married on Martha's Vineyard, in Massachusetts, in 2012. However, our marriage was not legally recognized in our home state of Ohio. I still remember rushing home from work with tears of joy when the Supreme Court made its ruling. We were truly married. This past year my wife was diagnosed with M.S. -- something out of the blue in our otherwise healthy, very active life. During the nights spend in the hospital and many hours in medical appointments, my legal authority to be there has made a difficult situation easier to navigate. We also have greater security around practicalities like my wife being on my health insurance plan as she works only part time. Two years ago I never would have guessed the role this security plays in our lives, and I am so grateful for it. More than anything, though, what marriage means is that our commitment to each other and the love we share is unwavering. On our wedding day we each promised, "I love you forever and you are the only one for me." Forever...only one. Yes, that is what being married means to me.

  20. My wife and I were married shortly after Trump was elected. We love each other immensely and had planned all along to get engaged and then wed, but the urgency we felt after the election gave us a great reason to fast track our plans. Just a few months later, we are only just scraping the surface of what it means to be married, but job loss and family illness have tested us and have strengthen ed one of the tenets of marriage that so many of the profiled couples highlighted: togetherness. Through everything, I always know my wife is there for me and she knows I will be there for her regardless of what may come our way.

  21. A beautiful and informative article; at the end of the article I was crying. My partner of 16 years and my legally married husband of 7 years died unexpectedly in his sleep last October. We were one of 6 couples that successfully sued the State of Iowa for marriage equality and brought this fundamental right to Iowans in 2009. My best to all these couples.

  22. I am so sorry for your loss.

  23. Thank you for working to make Iowa an even better place to live. I am saddened by the details of your loss and hoping you find strength and peace.

  24. With all my respect and sympathy...thank you for being in the trenches and fighting for all of us.

  25. Part of my really early morning ritual is to read The NY Times first thing. Well I read this article. It made my morning. Mazel Tov to each and every one of these beautiful couples, you are inspiring plus you give me hope.

  26. This past week at work a memo was sent out detailing our bereavement leave policy. I am the director of a small department and one person in my department is in a same sex marriage. I knew that same sex marriage was legalized by the Supreme Court, but I wasn't really sure if states had to follow suit. Would she get the same bereavement benefits as the rest of us? After investigating with HR I learned that yes, she would. I guess I'm writing this to acknowledge my own lack of understanding and confidence in these rights and how they affect my friends and colleagues.
    All the best to these couples.

  27. We've been together over 30 years and married in Canada in 2005. I was glad that we were able to celebrate our marriage with family and friends at a reception hosted by my parents.
    I was involved in the legal battle for marriage equality for many years; having to fight for a right makes you appreciate that right even more.
    My husband is my best friend and, while looking back on our years together is sweet, looking forward to more years together is sweeter.

  28. There is no question that gay couples are relatively well off. And there is no question that marriage is financially beneficial for them. Couples pay less in taxes and pay less for health insurance. And they can afford fancier homes. I am a cynic here. I think gays should have been seeking protection from hate crimes, seeking employment discrimination rights and seeking civil rights. That agenda would have served the interests of the majority of the gay population. Gay marriage is a financial boon mostly for the wealthy. Now that marriage rights have been achieved there isn't much momentum for going further. Gays are like straights. The wealthy control the political agenda and assure that it serves their interests.

  29. Michjas, you are a cynic and you're wrong. As a non-wealthy married lesbian, let me assure you that we didn't get married for financial reasons. The notion that gay couples are relatively well off is bigotry. Gay male couples generally earn more than either a heterosexual couple or a lesbian couple because men earn more than women. Both gay male and lesbian couples are more likely to have children these days, because we are less likely to have them taken away by the state. Both gay and straight couples with children have less disposable income than the childless.

    And as a long time gay activist (Gay Liberation Front, 1969), I can say that our movement did not start out looking for marriage rights. We wanted to end hate crimes and end discrimination in all aspects of our lives. That struggle is still going on and IMO will continue even more fiercely under the new administration.

  30. We seek those things too, Michjas. Has it not occurred to you that marriage is part of that? That equality under the law normalizes us in the eyes of policymakers (whether some of them like it or not)? I do find it curious that you would frame your "concern" for gays by calling us greedy and musing that we chose the selfish route and in the process undermined our community's safety. The choices you set out for us are not choices at all but your contempt is duly noted.

  31. Boy, do you miss the boat. My message is that the top 10% of gays are pretty much like the top 10% of straights. It's a socioeconomic argument. It certainly isn't an anti-gay argument.

  32. I'm still waiting for the sky to fall, or for people to start marrying their dogs or their furniture, according to the dire predictions made when this was still in the planning stage. Meanwhile, heterosexual couples continue to divorce, become single parents, live together blissfully unwedded, and give birth to out-of-wedlock issue, and otherwise undermine the sacred foundation of civilized society--and the world manages to weather those occurrences as well.

  33. As an aside, the moving graphic for this article is a reminder that nothing can ever replace the monumental aspect of a newspaper's print edition.

  34. Born and raised gay in America I never really thought much about marriage or getting married, until the Supreme Court surprised us all and Trump made it clear that people like me and my boyfriend of the last decade were targets for exclusion and discrimination. We got married to secure rights we are entitled to not only as Americans but as citizens of a globalized world. I want to live in Spain. He wants the right to return to America. We will navigate these uncertain legal waters and I hope to make both things happen. I am fortunate to have the means to live outside the United States until this horror passes. And if it doesn't, I will remain in a civilized country that is moving away from its fascist past rather than racing toward a fascist future. I am hopeful that American law may assist in making this possible. I am grateful that the laws and culture of Spain make it a reality now.

  35. Love wins.

  36. This article, and the events of Pride Week, make me think back on the older generation of "Spinster Aunts" and the "Gentlemen Bachelors" who were family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends who never had a chance to openly be in love. Many of them died without ever having fulfilling love relationships. It's heartbreaking and I hope we never go back.

  37. The day President Obama got inaugurated and the day Obergefell v. Hodges was decided: the two days I felt most proud to be an American.

  38. And those two days were the worst I felt as an American. But that all changed last Nov. 8th.

  39. Exhibishionism, par excellance !

  40. All the pre-Nicene Christian theologians preached the concepts of Theosis and Divinization (becoming like God). In order to achieve the highest realm, persons must be in a man/woman marriage. God has not changed his mind regarding marriage.

  41. Please remember that a great many do not pray at the same altar as you.

    40 years ago I dared to ask mayoral candidates here in Edmonton what their stand on gay rights were. Back in those days, to protect one's sanctity and maybe one's soul it was safer to be a Humanist - and I'm proud to be a Humanist today. I hope there will always be room at the table for diverse opinions.

  42. I respect your belief -- providing you don't attempt to force those who don't share your belief to conform to your beliefs. But my personal beliefs are so different from yours that "God has not changed his mind" is a meaningless statement to me. I believe we as human beings have no way of knowing the "mind" of God. You can tell me it's in the Bible (or any other sacred text) but that proves nothing to me because I believe the Bible was written by humans whose ideas reflect the cultures of their times. So: don't get married to a person of your gender. But allow others to marry whom they choose, and may we all live in peace.

  43. Amazing that God is speaking directly to you.

    Email, phone, hand written letter.. or did you guys just have brunch?

  44. "Please don't presume to tell me what I'm thinking." --God