A playlist for celebrating Sen. Wendy Davis & the end of DOMA

Today brings the kind of news headlines that make a progressive heart happy. Historical rulings and an unwavering demonstration in Texas have made the nation buzz with hope.

So as you soak up all the emotion of this day – perhaps after shedding some tears of joy (goodness knows there were some from us) – we have created a playlist with songs to keep you in the feel-good mood that this day deserves.

First, some songs in honor of the amazing, inspiring Texas Senator Wendy Davis who stood and spoke against SB 5 – a bill that would have effectively close most of the clinics in Texas – for over ten hours yesterday. Obviously, she deserves some mad respect.

Because she was going to be on her feet – continuously – all day, Sen. Davis wore bright pink running sneakers for the filibuster. The shoes quickly became a symbol for her stand against the bill and her fight for women. Indeed, her sneaks (boots) were made for standing (walking) – and that’s just what she did.

Granted, we can’t be fully excited that the media jumped at the chance to focus on the Senator’s appearance above all else, but I digress.

While it appeared for awhile last night that the Texas Senate might have snuck in a vote at the last moment, this morning it was clear that Sen. Davis’ epic filibuster had succeeded in halting the passage of the anti-choice SB 5. She triumphed in protecting choice in Texas – at least until the next session.

An overwhelming crowd of pro-choice supporters in the Capitol building cheered and stayed late into the night to support the efforts of the filibuster. It was heartwarming to see those in the pro-choice movement refuse to back down.

Next we are dedicating songs to the historical Supreme Court decision that we’ve been waiting for. This morning, the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, paving the way for marriage equality in the states. The Court also refused to take up Proposition 8 – allowing gay marriage to be legal again in California. Can you feel the love, or what?

DOMA was ruled unconstitutional by a 5-4 vote, with Justice Kennedy writing the majority opinion. You could say that Justice Kennedy is the best thing that (ever) happened to us (today).

The Supreme Court definitely made progress for the nation, taking a big step toward recognizing that it’s all the same love – and marriage is a right of every citizen.

Is it disappointing that marriage equality – equal rights – are still up for debate in this century? Yes.

Is it heartbreaking that Sen. Davis had to forgo food, drink, and even merely sitting, as a final defense against a terrible bill aimed at taking basic bodily autonomy from women? Yes.

But progress is progress. And we will take it and celebrate it.

Song List: Respect – Aretha Franklin I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra Every Little Thing She Does is Magic – The Police Don’t Stop – Fleetwood Mac I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons You are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne Same Love – Macklemore Can you Feel the Love Tonight? – Elton John You Don’t Own Me – Leslie Gore

Cheers to equality

Last week, NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota co-sponsored a happy hour with the Sioux Falls Center for Equality.

The point of this happy hour? To gather young professionals together who believe in reproductive choice and marriage equality.

NARAL Pro-Choice America has taken an official stance in support of marriage equality, and we as the South Dakota affiliate were proud to see our organization stand with another group – the LGBT community – that has been marginalized much as those who support reproductive choices often are.

At this event, pro-choice and pro-marriage equality activists came together in the name of equality and justice. At the informal sign-in table we had a poster that people could contribute to. We wanted to display some of the reasons why attendees are pro-choice and pro-marriage equality.

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The people gathered clearly believed that women (and men) are not only the masters of their own bodies, but also their own minds and emotions.

In case you can’t read them in the picture, here are the reasons listed on the poster:

I’m pro-choice and pro-marriage equality because…

my decisions are nobody’s business.

everyone should be able to make their own choices.

equality means understanding everyone is different!

let’s all let people be free to make choices about their own lives.

it’s my life, my choices, my right to be free from others’ religious beliefs.

it’s my body, my love. I give it to whom I want to.

medical decisions are personal and private.

equality only counts if everyone has it!

I don’t make choices for others.

If we can some together to support each other, than hopefully someday we will gather to celebrate, not just advocate.