While last week's marriage news hasn't been quite as momentous as the previous week's, there's still a lot going on.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government is officially recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples in six more states, bringing the total to 32.
Said AG Holder:
"With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving of full equality for all Americans. We are acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-sex married couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law."
It's amazing to note that marriage equality has done a complete flip in a few short weeks. Before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals weighed in and the Supreme Court lifted the stays on the other favorable Circuit Court decisions, the equality tally was 19-31. Now it's 32-18, with several more expected soon, even if state officials in South Carolina, Kansas, and Montana are digging in their anti-gay heels.
One of the six new states on the list was Wyoming, where happy gay couples began marrying on Tuesday, Oct. 21.
Another moving story comes from Idaho: U.S. Navy veteran Madelyn "Lee" Taylor had been fighting the state of Idaho for the right to be buried next to her late wife, Jean. Finally, now that Idaho's marriage ban has fallen, Lee's wish is a reality. Inside Lee's bittersweet victory is a true story of love and persistence and how deeply marriage can matter to families at their most vulnerable times in life.
"Words can’t describe how incredibly grateful I am for all the work that went into making our wishes possible. Idaho is where some of our best memories together are and it’s where I want to spend eternity with Jean."
Even with all these advancements, there is still work to be done to bring equality to the eighteen states lacking it. We need to also root for gay couples in Puerto Rico. A federal judge ruled against lesbian plaintiffs who were seeking to have their legal Massachusetts marriage recognized in Puerto Rico. In supporting discrimination, U.S. District Judge Juan Perez-Gimenez went against the nearly 50 judges who have ruled in favor of equality this year. The good news is the case will now move to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, where love and justice are expected to win.
We're not yet at 50, but we're getting there!