June 2015 in America: It’s a New World. Love.

In the early sixties there was a satirical TV news show called “That Was the Week That Was.” Well, this week is The Week that Is and Will Be. It feels like a turning point week.

  • The ruling of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the federal tax credits for all Americans under the Affordable Care Act–effectively saving “Obamacare” from being gutted. Obamacare is not perfect, it’s been criticized, and even vilified, but its flawed effort for equal access to healthcare for all citizens has been at least a big step in the right direction. This is really big because we can’t now go back to business as usual, healthcare-wise. Now we can move forward to fixing up the flaws, reducing healthcare costs, and ensuring that as many people as possible can be eligible for, and get, healthcare in this country.
  • The Supreme Court ruling that guarantees the right of same-sex couples to marry, no matter what state they live in. Wow.  As many have said on Facebook and in the media and on Twitter, this is huge because it means that #LoveWins.  It also redefines marriage. Marriage is an institution that is foundational in society and has been for a long time. In some countries and cultures, men can marry more than one wife. In some countries and cultures, marriages have been arranged by the families. Some marriages are business propositions; some are political pairings. But essentially, most believe that marriage is about love and devotion. In the play “Fiddler On the Roof,” Tevye’s daughter opts to defy custom and marry the man she loves–and Tevye, confused and wistful, says to Golde, “It’s a new world. Love.”
  • Then–Then!–there were the black families of the 9 victims of the Charleston shooting standing before the white racist assassin and publicly forgiving him for taking the lives of their loved ones.  And then, President Obama ending his eulogy for the pastor, Clementa Pinckney, with a heartfelt, soulful Amazing Grace.  Wow.

Just wow.

It’s just one week among many. News ebbs and flows and life goes on. But this week felt like a shift: it affirmed the efforts of millions of brave activists who have stood up for equality and love over the years. It affirmed that we are able to live with one version of accepted belief for centuries and then realize when it’s time to change. It raised a looking glass to the future in which we can be hopeful that we just might be able to overcome walls of hate, fear, and self-interest with love for each other–family, friends, strangers, fellow citizens.

America done good this week.

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