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The decision last Friday by the Supreme Court granting the right to marry for same-sex couples throughout the nation is a historical moment and one that we at the Haas Institute not only applaud, but deeply celebrate. Extending the right to marry, and the benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples, advances a larger vision of belonging and equal protection for all members of society.

Friday morning's decision was the precursor to a weekend of nationwide expressions of celebration and unbridled joy. Many expressed astonishment this victory could happen in our lifetimes. Many felt their lifetime's work and love of another lifted up by that single statement at the end of the majority opinionIt is so ordered

This is a moment to bask in the knowledge that the law of the land is, as President Obama noted, one step closer to a more perfect union. This is a moment to acknowledge the extraordinary work done for years by activists, communities, and families to ensure that the future of this country inched a little closer to our mutual aspirations of a fully inclusive society.

This is a moment that is especially important for gay and lesbian community, but it’s also important for America. When you bring people together they will love each other – and not only their love, but the public acceptance of their love and human dignity, will change the fabric of society. It’s not just enough to offer recognition,  we must also afford all members of the society full access to the rights and privileges.

While we recognize there is much progress still needed to achieve full equality for LGBTQ persons, including anti-discrimination protections for these persons in housing and employment, we also acknowledge that Friday’s ruling was a major first step.

While we continue doing our work that widens the lens of access for all people, we also, in this moment, celebrate this major victory for America.