On June 26, 2015 U.S. history was made as the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage for all Americans. This monumental victory for the gay rights movement ends a long battle with the declaration that love should be a human right.

This decision goes beyond allowing gay and lesbian couples to be married.  In the U.S., there are 1,138 federal benefits and protections available on the basis of marital status in federal law. From the more practical benefits, like being able to file joint tax returns, to personal benefits, like allowing a spouse to visit their dying loved one while in the hospital, this ruling affords same-sex partners with the same given rights their straight counterparts have had for years.

As we enter into July and enjoy the festivities surrounding Independence Day, now more than ever we should be proud to be part of a country that values the quality of life and justice for all its citizens. As our country progresses, so too must we learn to progress with it. President Obama’s reaction to the decision encapsulated what many of us also feel: “This ruling is a victory for America. This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. When all Americans are truly treated as equal, we are more free.” We congratulate all who have fought this good fight to freely express and love whoever, and however we choose.

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