In this June 26, 2015, file photo, a man holds a U.S. and a rainbow flag outside the Supreme Court in Washington after the court legalized gay marriage nationwide. Credit: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

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Thank you, Sen. Susan Collins, for introducing the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Senate.

This act would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, and it would provide federal protections to interracial and same-sex couples.

In sponsoring the Respect for Marriage Act, Collins is bucking Maine’s Republican Party, which voted only a few months ago to keep explicit opposition to same-sex marriage in its official party platform.

Every decade has marked progress toward marriage equality for my partner and me. In 1993, our first “wedding” was a protest in Washington, D.C. In 2003, we were officially married in Canada. In 2013, our marriage was federally recognized in the United States.

2023 is the next decade marker for us. Will it be another step forward for marriage equality? Or a step backward?

Kelley McDaniel