What today's senators need to know is that voting to ensure that all Americans enjoy the same rights does not require so much courage -- the American people are already ahead of them on these issues. Recent elections made that clear.
The actual legislative road forward may be difficult in the immediate future, but there is reason to celebrate the vote and what it means for the shifting political landscape of full marriage equality.
If the federal government recognized same-sex marriage, when I or my partner died, the other would get health benefits, his partner's social security and a big break on inheritance taxes. But we undoubtedly won't be alive when that happens.