Marriage has become more to me than simply a set of legal protections. My husband was able to emigrate here due to the federal recognition of our marriage. While simple things like health insurance and filling out our taxes have a special sense of security associated with them, people also engage with you differently in society after you are married.

Marriage has been a profound experience for me, as the connection to this other person is far deeper than I ever felt while dating. A decade of casual sex, loneliness, and believing myself “not marriage material” evaporated shockingly fast, and I found peace and security I had never known before. It is more than sharing my life, sharing a home, and sharing bills. It has allowed us to integrate into normal America and experience equality in its most tangible form. It saved my life in a way that is difficult to fully appreciate.

For me and countless others like me, marriage has accomplished exactly what traditional conservatives argue it would for all of society. As of 2017, 61 percent of same-sex couples are married, an increase from 38 percent prior to Obergefell. A Pew survey in 2013 found 49 percent of LGBT people believe the best way to obtain acceptance and equality in society is through marriage.