The most important day of my life is Jan. 3, 2014. It's the day I married my husband, Fabian Quezada-Malkin.
The second most important day actually occurred less than six months before that. On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially struck down California's anti-gay marriage ballot initiative Prop 8, as well as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal government's ban on recognizing same-sex unions.
And that is why I shed more than a few tears the other night at the L.A. premiere of The Case Against 8, a fascinating and powerful documentary about the federal lawsuit to overturn Prop 8.
Filmed over five years, the movie follows lawyers Ted Olson and David Bois as they fight for the right of the four plaintiffs in the case, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier and Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, to marry.
I didn't give marriage much thought when I was coming out of the closet in my 20s, nor did it cross my mind in my 30s. It's not that I didn't want to be married—it just never seemed like a possibility. Ever.
But there I was this past January declaring my love and devotion to the man of my dreams. I cried a lot before, during and after our wedding, not only about the new chapter in our lives but also for the men and women who came before us who never got the chance to say, "I do."
The Case Against 8 may be a documentary, but it moves along like a suspenseful legal drama. And even though I know how things turned out, I still found myself worried about the outcome. Co-directors Ben Cotner and Ryan White take you so inside and behind the scenes that you can't help but feel like a participant in a legal battle that, at times, felt like it would get stuck in a perpetual merry-go-round of appeals and other judicial strangulations.
But then came June 26, 2013. The Supreme Court decisions meant everyone—straight and gay—deserves the right to marry.
Fabian and I were married on a Friday afternoon by a judge before 25 friends and family members at the Beverly Hills courthouse.
"Fabian, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love and devotion to you," I said as I slipped a wedding ring onto his finger. "I pledge to you all that I am and all that I will ever be as your partner. Today, I gladly marry you and join my life to yours."
Olson and Bois made an unlikely legal team. In 2000, Olson led the successful Supreme Court case that secured George W. Bush's second term in the White House. His Democratic opponent was none other than Bois.
"Marriage is a conservative value," Olson says in the film. "It's two people who love one another and want to live together in a stable relationship, to become part of a family and part of a neighborhood and part of our economy. We should want to come together in marriage."
There's no arguing with that.
The Case Against 8 is in select theaters on Friday, June 6 and premieres on HBO on Monday, June 23.