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.

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Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

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Biases, stereotypes, prejudices—these byproducts of the human brain's natural tendency to generalize and categorize have been a root cause of most of humanity's problems for, well, pretty much ever. None of us is immune to those tendencies, and since they can easily slip in unnoticed, we all have to be aware of where, when, and how they impact our own beliefs and actions.

It also helps when someone upends a stereotype by saying or doing something unexpected.

Fair or not, certain parts of the U.S. are associated with certain cultural assumptions, perhaps none more pinholed than the rural south. When we hear Appalachia, a certain stereotype probably pops up in our minds—probably white, probably not well educated, probably racist. Even if there is some basis to a stereotype, we must always remember that human beings can never be painted with such broad strokes.

Enter Tyler Childers, a rising country music star whose old-school country fiddling has endeared him to a broad audience, but his new album may have a different kind of reach. "Long Violent History" was released Friday, along with a video message to his white rural fans explaining the culminating track by the same name. Watch it here:

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Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

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Father Alek Schrenk is known as one of the "9 Priests You Need to Follow on Twitter." He proved his social media skills Sunday night after finding a creepy note on a parked car and weaving a lurid Twitter tale that kept his followers on the edge of their pews.

Father Schrenk was making his nightly walk of the church grounds to make sure everything was fine before retiring to the rectory, when he found a car parked by itself in front of the school.

Curious, he looked inside the car and saw a note that made his "blood run cold" attached to the steering wheel. "Look in trunk!" the note read. What made it extra creepy was that the two Os in "look" had smiley faces.

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