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.

Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Macy's and Girls Inc. believe that all girls deserve to be safe, supported, and valued. However, racial disparities continue to exist for young people when it comes to education levels, employment, and opportunities for growth. Add to that the gender divide, and it's clear to see why it's important for girls of color to have access to mentors who can equip them with the tools needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

Anissa Rivera is one of those mentors. Rivera is a recent Program Manager at the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc., a nonprofit focusing on the holistic development of girls ages 5-18. The goal of the organization is to provide a safe space for girls to develop long-lasting mentoring relationships and build the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to thrive now and as adults.

Rivera spent years of her career working within the themes of self and community empowerment with young people — encouraging them to tap into their full potential. Her passion for youth development and female empowerment eventually led her to Girls Inc., where she served as an agent of positive change helping to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Inspiring young women from all backgrounds is why Macy's has continued to partner with Girls Inc. for the second year in a row. The partnership will support mentoring programming that offers girls career readiness, college preparation, financial literacy, and more. Last year, Macy's raised over $1.3M for Girls Inc. in support of this program along with their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming for more than 26,000 girls. Studies show that girls who participated are more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, score higher on standardized math tests, and be more equipped for college and campus life.

Thanks to mentors like Rivera, girls across the country have the tools they need to excel in school and the confidence to change the world. With your help, we can give even more girls the opportunity to rise up. Throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases or donate online to support Girls Inc. at Macys.com/MacysGives.

Who runs the world? Girls!

via Pixabay

Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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