One year after the Supreme Court ruling, this comic shows that love is love is love.
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Modern Love

June 26, 2016, is a big day. It marks the one-year anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States.

On that day in 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ended the marriage equality ban across all 50 states. This was thanks to the work of LGBTQ activists, everyday people, and politicians pushing for equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

Illustrator Carol Lay created a comic to celebrate marriage equality this year, and she looked to same-sex couples in her own life first.

She wanted to show how they dealt with anti-LGBTQ legislation before 2015.


"My oldest friend from college married her spouse when it first became legal in California," Lay told Upworthy in an email.

"There was that six-month window before [people] shut it down by pouring money into Proposition 8. The other female couple I know were in Arkansas, and couldn’t marry until last year; one [of the women] just died."

Lay wanted to show that implementing marriage equality in law wasn’t just a ceremonial marker.

Legalizing same-sex marriage meant that same-sex couples could enjoy federal and state benefits, such as receiving bigger checks from Social Security, jointly filing taxes, and being able to see a sick partner in the hospital.

And while the Supreme Court decision began a new era in our country’s treatment of gay couples, Lay wanted to show that the fight for equality is far from over.

Transgender homicide rates are on the rise, Congress has blocked bills that would protect LGBTQ employees from discriminatory practices at work, and the recent massacre in Orlando broke many hearts. These are all unfortunate signs that we still have a lot of work to do.

"This story started in script stage as a love story to celebrate a year of legalized marriage throughout the U.S.," said Lay. "The atrocity in Orlando occurred during the editing stage and demanded a sad note that the struggle isn’t over. Backward states using fear or cries of religious liberty to discriminate against anyone in the LGBT community is disheartening and scary, a clear example of how progress is often two steps forward and one back."

But as Lin Manuel-Miranda said, "Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love."

When we put work behind the belief that love can defeat hate, we have the power to create a greater world that we can all enjoy.

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

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