With liberty and justice for all

Proud to be an AmericanThese have been great days to be an American. The Supreme Court made marriage equality the law in all 50 states as well as upholding the Affordable Care Act and fair housing. We also determined as a society that a flag that represents a defense of slavery and resistance to civil rights is not a symbol of pride and has no place outside of history books and museums.

These aren’t just issues of politics. They reach the core of who we are as a country and what principles we uphold and project to the world.

We declare in our founding document that we are all created equal and have inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These words not only drive us Americans to work for a more perfect union, but they inspire the oppressed and suffering around the world. In countries where being gay is punishable by death, where preventable and curable diseases kill millions of impoverished children each year, and where centuries-old conflicts continue to lead to bloodshed, America’s actions of the past few days offer hope.

We have plenty of work to do. Marriage equality doesn’t stop the discrimination LGBT citizens continue to face. Removing symbols of bigotry doesn’t remove the hatred in a racist’s heart. Progress will continue to face passionate resistance. We must continue to move forward — not only for ourselves, but for a world that looks to us an example.

For now, we can celebrate these great steps for justice and equality. My Midwest Republican mom taught me to believe in America the Beautiful. Today, America is more beautiful.