Patrick Saunders, Editor of Georgia Voice

Patrick Saunders: Reliving the day love won

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 same-sex 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!