THE BLOG

Wendy Davis, The Supreme Court, And My Family

06/26/2013 03:06 pm ET | Updated Aug 26, 2013

I went to sleep last night watching Wendy Davis being carried across her filibuster finish line by hundreds who gathered in the gallery of the Texas Legislature and prevented the wholesale closing of women's health providers.

I began the work day with news that the Supreme Court has ruled that if you are married, you are married, period.

It is a good day for families -- a recognition of the fundamental right to decide what mine looks like, and that mine might be different than yours. Because both those fights -- the one about abortion in Texas and the one against DOMA in Washington/Prop 8 in California are, at their core, fights over what defines a family. And in both cases the definition that won the day (for the moment at least in Texas, and for posterity, it appears, vis a vis DOMA) was "the simple desire to be one." Being a family means recognizing another person to be part of you. Knowing that together you form something that completes you both. And perhaps, for some, realizing that even together you are not all you want to be, and that you were meant to create others to share what you have and close your circle.

Isn't that really what family is? Take away all the law and ceremony, the protests and regulation, and what those who chanted in Austin last night -- and those who are celebrating across the country today -- were asking for was simply to create their own family. To marry who they love, or not. To have children who are wanted, or not have them at all. To vow to cherish and protect and be in each others' corner as long as you all shall live.

The state doesn't create family bonds, it merely recognizes them. The actual growing and shaping and raising and conceiving and loving and defending -- all of that is what makes us family. And those choices are ours to make together and for each other, because that's what family means.

My parents were married 55 years ago this weekend, and theirs was a happy bond. It is honored, not diminished, by the decision today that anyone who loves, and pledges to commit, should be recognized and respected.

My brother was married two years ago this weekend, which happened to be days after New York legalized same sex marriage (can we just call it marriage, now?) He and his bride rode through the streets of lower Manhattan on a Vespa, he in his suit, she in her gown, being cheered on by couples who had gathered in the streets to celebrate their new right to do the same.

And this weekend my dear colleague, Margaret Wheeler Johnson, will wed her love, Ali, blessed both by their state and their nation. I wish them a future full of happiness, yes, but also the mundane ups and downs that come with any marriage.

Because it is going through that together, deciding the path that is theirs, that will make them a family.