June 26 has specific significance because it marks the anniversary of three landmark Supreme Court decisions on LGBT+ rights:
- June 26, 2003 – Lawrence v. Texas – No state can make it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in intimate sexual conduct.
- June 26, 2013 – United States v. Windsor – The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages, is unconstitutional.
- June 26, 2015 – Obergefell v. Hodges – The fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples under the U.S. Constitution.
June 26 represents progress—not only in the courts, but also in society’s shared conscience. As Charlotte Alter wrote in TIME, “June 26 isn’t just a symbol of marriage equality or gay rights—it’s a day that commemorates a collective change of mind, the American ability to choose freedom and equality.”
Court victories and societal progress on LGBT+ rights are wonderful. But they should not cause us to slow down or settle. And they should not cause us to ignore other injustices and acts of discrimination that continue in America. The long struggle for equal rights is not over—far from it. On this June 26, let us celebrate PRIDE and how far we have come, but more importantly, let us recommit to striving for equal rights for everyone.