(Photo © Helen John Photography) Over the past several months and leading up to Wednesday’s historic decision, we have found ourselves, and our relationship, in what feels like the center of public ... more 
(Photo © Helen John Photography) Over the past several months and leading up to Wednesday’s historic decision, we have found ourselves, and our relationship, in what feels like the center of public debate about family, civil rights, marriage and democracy. We are elated with the justice delivered through the court’s landmark decision on DOMA. The ruling is a great victory for thousands of LGBT families and couples and for ourselves. It will also ensure future generations of young LGBT people will grow up with less barring them from complete civil rights. They and their relationships will be recognized more wholly. That the court sidestepped a broader marriage equality ruling by asserting that the petitioners lacked standing, however, is disappointing. Thankfully, this undoes the 9th Circuit decision and means that same-sex marriages in California may resume, but we will continue to see a patchwork of marriage rights across the states.

Since becoming engaged on New Year’s Eve of 2011, we have had a lesson in the personal is political or as a professor of Lindsey’s was fond of saying, “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” While we both had previously been supportive of the freedom to marry, and were well aware of the federal benefits not afforded to same-sex couples, the issues became personal as our wedding approached and the national spotlight on the debate intensified. First, we anxiously awaited election results last November to learn whether our marriage would be recognized in our home state of Maryland. We had our first taste victory when our fellow Marylanders voted in favor of our freedom to marry. This meant that we would be able to have our ceremony satisfy the legal aspect of our marriage and that we wouldn’t have to cross a state line to make it official.

We married in the woods in Potomac, Md., near our favorite hiking trail and were fortunate to have the first warm day of spring, which allowed us the outdoor ceremony we had longed for. The wedding took place in just days after the justices heard the Prop 8 and DOMA cases in March, so we knew that as we stood before our friends and families committing to a loving and exciting life together, the justices were likely mulling over the very issues that prevented the ceremony from federal recognition. The cases before the court and the right to marry could not have felt more personal.

Today, we are enormously grateful not just to the justices, but primarily to the fierce advocates, the fighters, the generations before us that have fought for LGBT rights. We owe a depth of gratitude to those who bravely fought at Stonewall, to the Harvey Milks, the Gavin Newsomes, the Kate Kenndels, Barney Franks, Essex Hemphills, the Larry Kramers, the Ruth Simpsons, Audre Lordes, the Dan Savages, and the countless other champions who have fought for our rights and our cause in big and small and in public and private ways before we got on the bus. In just a few days we will have been married for three months and could not be happier, more in love, and now more secure knowing that our relationship will enjoy greater protections and deeper respect.

—Lindsey Dawson, right, and Jessica Chipoco less 
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Yahoo News | Photo By Helen John Photography / © Helen John Photography
Thu, Jun 27, 2013 3:00 PM EDT