Re­liv­ing the best Fri­day ever

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psaun­ders@the­gavoice.com

“Then it hap­pened. The mod­er­a­tor sig­naled that they had the de­ci­sion and that their ex­pert was re­view­ing it. I fired off a group text to my friends that the de­ci­sion was in. And the ver­dict was … 5 to 4 love!”

June 26, 2015 was a Fri­day that would turn out to be the best end-of-the-week I’ve ever ex­pe­ri­enced. It was, of course, the day the U.S. Supreme Court over­turned same­sex mar­riage bans na­tion­wide and made mar­riage equal­ity the law of the land.

As the deputy ed­i­tor of Ge­or­gia Voice at the time, I spent the week or two lead­ing up to that check­ing in on the Supreme Court’s de­ci­sion days, when they would re­lease batches of opin­ions. Day by day this went un­til that sunny Fri­day morn­ing, when there was a strong feel­ing the de­ci­sion would be an­nounced. The same court struck down the De­fense of Mar­riage Act on the ex­act same date two years prior, and when the court struck down sodomy laws in the Lawrence v. Texas case in 2003, they did so on … you guessed it, June 26.

Back to 2015, I had a draft of a story ready to pub­lish, and at the risk of jinx­ing it, the draft read as if the bans would fall. SCOTUSblog had a live chat ses­sion go­ing which they would up­date as soon as de­ci­sions were re­leased, and they kept be­ing re­leased, one af­ter the other, draw­ing out the sus­pense to what was by far the most ea­gerly awaited case. Then it hap­pened. The mod­er­a­tor sig­naled that they had the de­ci­sion and that their ex­pert was re­view­ing it. I fired off a group text to my friends that the de­ci­sion was in. And the ver­dict was … 5 to 4 love!

I pub­lished the story then picked my phone back up to type in a quick “WE WON!!!” to my friends, then got back to work. Re­ac­tion came in fast and from all over coun­try and the globe. Just eight min­utes af­ter the an­nounce­ment, Pres­i­dent Obama re­acted on Twit­ter: “Today is a big step in our march to­ward equal­ity. Gay and les­bian cou­ples now have the right to marry, just like any­one else. #LoveWins.” The White House changed its Twit­ter pro­file pic to a rain­bow ver­sion of the peo­ple’s house, and later that night did the same to the ac­tual house, light­ing up the front of the build­ing with rain­bow spot­lights.

From there it was rally time, so I headed to the Cen­ter for Civil and Hu­man Rights for the first of­fi­cial cel­e­bra­tion, then to the in­ter­sec­tion of 10th and Pied­mont for the real party. Peo­ple marched around the cross­walks in-be­tween lights wav­ing rain­bow, equal­ity and Amer­i­can flags as peo­ple in cars honked their horns. I fi­nally took my­self off the clock at some point that night and took in the scene with a goofy, deliri­ous smile on my face.

I’ll never for­get those mo­ments from that day, and as spring con­tin­ues on and we ap­proach the third(!) an­niver­sary of the Supreme Court de­ci­sion, we present to you this year’s Wed­ding Is­sue.

We’ve picked four amaz­ing cou­ples to pro­file that we re­ally think you’ll like. They talk about all the ins and outs of their big day and we pro­vide photos to help tell their sto­ries. We’ve got some heart­warm­ing pro­posal sto­ries from you, the read­ers. There’s a few handy wed­ding bud­get hacks for you to check out and an ex­pert look at the hottest rings of the sea­son. And for the first time in our Wed­ding Is­sue, we have a story about di­vorce. Odd to in­clude in this is­sue, of all is­sues? Some may think so, but we want to pro­vide the ex­pert info you need just in case you or a friend or loved one needs it.

En­joy, and let us know what you think on so­cial me­dia and at ed­i­tor@the­gavoice.com!

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