As the decade draws to a close, like many others, I've been thinking about everything that has transpired over the past 10 years.
For me personally, just over a month before the beginning of the decade, I started seeing M. In 2002, she joined the Foreign Service, and before she left for Azerbaijan, we were married in our church. In 2004, I followed her into the Foreign Service, and in 2005, we bought our first home together. From 2005-2007, we served together in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was hard, and we came back to DC to leave the service, but landed in jobs that made us decide to stay. While we were here, we were able to be party to the negotiations for benefits to address the inequities faced by Foreign Service families. And thanks to the benefits Secretary Clinton extended to us, M and I are now an official tandem couple.
Last month, on our tenth anniversary together, M and I made the trek to Massachusetts and were legally married.
So this decade has brought me to the love of my life, good jobs in a weak economy, legal marriage, and two of our four pets. I have no complaints. And we have a great onward assignment, so I am optimistic about the next decade.
Gays and lesbians have made some gains in the past decade. For the first time, we have legal marriage in five states. Domestic partnerships and civil unions in others. Barring Congressional interference, DC, which already recognizes marriages from other states, will join the march toward marriage equality. We have made other advances as well, but they have been uneven, and there is so much more to be done.
Let's hope in the next year, we see more significant advances in equality, like the passage of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And that before the end of the next decade, we see the repeal DOMA and see gays and lesbians live in full equality throughout the U.S.