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A look back at some EqualityOnTrial highlights from 2013

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Yesterday, I took a look at what we as a community have to look forward to in 2014; today, I want to take a look back at some of the most exciting moments for EqualityOnTrial for 2013.  Today is the very last day to make a tax-deductible donation for 2013; please chip in whatever you can to ensure that we will be able to cover the many victories — both expected and unexpected — that are sure to come next year.

The most exciting moment of 2013 for me personally came in March, when I attended oral arguments in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases at the U.S. Supreme Court as part of the press corps.  There is something undeniably majestic about that space, and sitting to the side of the room with the other journalists as we frantically jotted down notes on the arguments–no computers or electronics were allowed–and guessed at which justices were speaking–you can’t really see them clearly!–truly felt like being a witness to history.

I remember walking out of the court both days, seeing the throngs of people demonstrating outside the building, and realizing that they were anxious to hear any crumb of a detail about what had happened inside the marble building behind me.  Then, Adam would pick me up in our rented car and we would drive around the streets of DC while I wrote a quick post on the arguments, heading for a coffee shop afterwards to write further analysis with Scottie.  It’s fun to go back and read those early posts: my first, “I just left the Supreme Court: here’s my first take on the Justices’ questions,” described the justices’ strong focus on jurisdictional issues like the standing question on which the case would eventually be decided.  On the second day, that initial post was titled “Supreme Court likely to strike down DOMA: here’s why“; how wonderful it has been to see that prediction come true.

And of course, for a blog that began as Prop8TrialTracker.com, one of our most exciting days was June 26, when the Supreme Court released its decisions in the two cases and we found out that both DOMA and Prop 8 were history.  Just a few days later, we had the unexpected and joyous opportunity to write this headline: “BREAKING: Ninth Circuit lifts stay, allows marriage equality to resume in California.”  I can still remember that evening as I walked through the streets of New York, with my head buried in my phone, following Twitter voraciously for the exact moment the couples would wed.  I watched the ceremony live on my iPhone standing on a street corner, my heart swelling and my eyes misting over.  If that had been all 2013 had given us, it would have been enough!  But, of course, there was much more.

In October, Scottie covered the breaking news that a Michigan judge who many had expected might invalidate that state’s ban on marriage equality after a court hearing would instead take the case to trial in February.  Just this month, he brought us more breaking news (and in-depth analysis) when the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the state’s constitution required same-sex couples equal access to marriage rights as different-sex couples.

And, in one of the most exciting developments of the end of the year, Scottie covered the unexpected decision by a Utah district court invalidating that state’s marriage equality ban.  We had been following that litigation closely–early this month, I wrote a brief news piece about oral arguments in the case–and we’ve covered the judge’s decision not to stay his ruling, the Tenth Circuit’s decision to the same effect, and were one of the first sites to report just yesterday that the circuit court had set an expedited briefing schedule for the case that will conclude briefing by the end of February and could set up the groundwork for a possible decision in the first few months of the new year.

I could go on–it really is a testament to how proud we are of the work we’ve been able to do at EqualityOnTrial this year with your support.  As you know, we’re not just a news site.  We pride ourselves on providing sophisticated, clear, in-depth and easily understandable coverage and analysis of legal decisions.  Click any of the links in this piece and you can see what we do best.  We do it for you, our community, our readers, who bring your passionate advocacy for this issue to the table and inspire us to push ourselves.  This is why we’re reaching out as 2013 ends–I want to be able to write another post a year from now looking back at the incredible successes of EqualityOnTrial in 2014.

Help us make that happen.  Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to EqualityOnTrial before the year ends to help us continue this mission.  Any amount helps, and you can make a contribution either on your own behalf or to honor of a friend or loved one as a holiday gift.  This is the very last day to make your tax-deductible donation count for 2013.  Please lend us your support as the year comes to a close.

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