"We have to understand that in this world two people can be deeply in love, and that if they have that kind of commitment they should be permitted to be married.
Now, to say that you've got to go from state to state to achieve that right absolutely vitiates who we are as a nation."- Congressman Dennis Kucinich, January 6, 2004.
Eight years ago, when Congressman Kucinich was running for President, his pro-marriage equality position put him far outside the mainstream. Although his description of a couple having to "go from state to state to achieve that right" seems to describe a multi-state journey like Pat and Stephen's, in January, 2004 there were no marriage equality states to go to. When Massachusetts became the first, later that year, most of the country was shocked that any state would allow same-sex marriage.
Less than a decade later, support for marriage equality has gone from being a wild, fringe position to a mainstream view. Six states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage. More Americans now support equality than oppose it. A growing number are shocked not that there are so many marriage equality states but that there are so few. On Monday, Gov. Chris Gregoire will introduce a bill to make Washington the seventh state.
Like any extended road-trip, the state-by-state progress of marriage equality often feels agonizingly slow, but it's nice to look back and see what a tremendous distance we have already traveled.