I "married" Chrissy Heyne on March 28, 2012, after almost three years together. We have two amazing children, Jonas and Ruby, who keep us busy, happy, and challenged. You may wonder why I put the word "married" in quotation marks.
In the end, the Supreme Court today struck down a 1996 federal law that is considered one of the most odious, discriminatory federal laws in existence. It's rare for the court to invalidate a federal law, and even rarer when the law was passed by wide majorities.
After wrestling with the immigration system for 23 years, just like that, I have a clear path to citizenship. My husband can finally petition for a green card for me. I am relieved, grateful, and more optimistic than ever about my family's future in the country we call home.
The Supreme Court's decision to strike down Section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional comes as a boon for so many same-sex, bi-national couples similarly situated, who have been separated and borne the brunt of discriminatory immigration laws for far too long.
It's been a week of mixed emotions for those of us who care about civil rights. But throughout the week, I have been reminded of one thing: how grateful I am that Mitt Romney will not be picking the next Supreme Court justice.
The Supreme Court had a chance to end the cycle of injustice in the United States but chose not to. For those of us in the other 37 states, the battle continues. Achieving marriage equality in Oregon, not to mention throughout the South, is not going to be easy.
By declining to give a 50-state equality ruling on Prop 8 today, the Court shows that it still doesn't "get it" with regards to treating LGBTs as equal human beings who should have the same rights as other adults.
The fight for equality in 37 other states continues. But we now have clear direction that the Constitution, in addition to the political process and changing attitudes of the general public, are coalescing in favor of marriage equality across the entire country.
What does it feel like to be like everyone else? As I write this, I can hear my daughter Clara squealing from her high chair in the kitchen as Papá -- who can now become a citizen because I can sponsor him -- tells her not to plaster herself with yogurt.
I remain hopeful that further progressive change is not far beyond our reach. Let us celebrate today but continue to fight for a brighter tomorrow. Do not lose sight of the struggles for equality and justice that persist. We will bring light to places still living in fear, hate, and ignorance.