Editor’s note: On March 26 and 27, the Supreme Court will hear two cases that may redefine how the country recognizes same-sex unions. In one, United States v. Windsor, the court could determine whether the federal Defense of Marriage Act violates the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to marry. The other, Hollingsworth v. Perry, tackles Proposition 8, which denies same-sex marriage in California and which voters narrowly approved in 2008.
To familiarize yourself with the cases, read the SCOTUS blog primers here and here.
Yahoo News asked Americans who will be directly impacted by these cases to share their stories and perspectives. Here’s one.
FIRST PERSON | My name is Brian and I live in Washington State. More than 10 years ago, on a solemn farewell tribute tour of Seattle honoring the memory of my deceased wife on our anniversary night (who tragically died five years before), I met the new love of my life as I visited all the old haunts my wife and I used to visit.
It just so happened that this time around, the new love of my life was a man named Wilson.
For more than 10 years now, we have had the unofficial joy of being two people head-over-heels in love with each other as an unofficial common-law couple. Our friends can attest to us as the epitome of the “old married couple.”
Last year, we voted in Washington state on the issue of gay marriage after the Washington state legislature legalized gay marriage, but opponent groups blocked and then petitioned for a state election vote through the citizenry. Voters rightly chose last November to support the fundamental right of the LGBT community to love, cherish, and to commit to each other before God or whoever like the rest of society, by voting in favor of the legalization of gay marriage.
Being proud of our part in campaigning for, and promoting, this monumental breakthrough in modern day gay rights, we decided to get hitched legally in a wonderful church in Seattle on Dec. 28, 2012. It was a beautiful wedding; my closest family members and friends attended along with my spouse’s family and friends. (My spouse in spirit for 10 years already.)
In a touching tribute to their father’s relationship with what was to them an already-long-established “step mother,” who helped raise them when they were grade school age, (both my now grown up sons of 19 & 21 years of age) showed up to the wedding together along with my mother. It was a very touching and overwhelming show of love and respect for me and the love of my life Wilson.
My sincere hope is that the Supreme Court justices — who hold so many decent, law-abiding, taxpaying, and productive citizens’ unalienable rights and freedoms in their hands — decide to back same-sex marriage. And while the courts and bureaucracies debate, let all the states in the union vote for the right to be treated like a human being in a democratic free society.