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On Tuesday, I sat in the Supreme Court of the United States as the justices considered whether same-sex couples can marry throughout the country. It was a moving moment for me because 29 years ago, while I was a student in college, the Supreme Court had ruled that the states could make it a crime to engage in intimacy with someone of the same sex. I was heartened in 1996 when the Supreme Court for the first time struck down a law as impermissibly discriminating against gay and lesbian people, but only a few months later Congress passed the federal Defense of Marriage Act, rendering same-sex couples invisible to federal law.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down that law, and in the intervening years, my colleagues at the National Center for Lesbian Rights and I, along with lawyers throughout the country, have been challenging many states’ remaining discriminatory marriage laws. Tuesday was the day in which we would hear in person the questions the justices of the Supreme Court had about our case for marriage equality.

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