I know many Kossacks don't glide over to CNN.com very often, so want to recommend that you do. They have an article front-paged on why marriage equality won at the ballot box: because of individuals and families who unexpectedly found themselves becoming activists.
Profiled in the article:
---"A preacher," Rev. Barbara Kershner Daniel, now serving the Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ in Frederick, Maryland. Twenty-five years ago, as a new pastor, she was asked to officiate at a same-sex ceremony, and declined -- and then kicked herself. Working on the Maryland referendum gave her a chance for a "do-over."
---"A teacher," Michael Clark, a Seattle-area middle school band and orchestra teacher. He and his domestic partner have been together for 18 years, but he kept quiet about all that in the classroom.
---"A soldier's parents," Lori and Jeff Wilfahrt of Minnesota, whose son, Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, was the first openly gay soldier killed in Afghanistan after repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." For the Wilfahrts, speaking out on behalf of marriage equality was the best way to honor their son's memory.
---"A GOP leader," Mark Ellis of Maine, adopted from the Phillipines. He realized that his own interracial marriage would once have been illegal in many states. A former chairman of the state GOP, he wondered if speaking out on marriage equality would jeopardize his position. But he found other Republicans who supported marriage equality, giving them the courage to speak out.
Each took up the cause for personal reasons shaped by life experiences. Together, they surprised America; their voices emerged as a sign of a more progressive electorate that's grown tired of arguments that say marriage between two men or two women undermines the institution and the very fabric of society.
I'm sure each of us could add dozens of stories like this. Ultimately "change" happens one person at a time, one friendship at a time, one eye-opening experience at a time.
To those of you who are planning your weddings, or just worked hard on these referendums, a heartfelt "congratulations!"