Four years ago today, I gave a short speech to the Iowa legislature against a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in our state. Four years later, I’m still working through the deluge of messages I received–finally down to the last 500 emails, many of them from other children of same-sex couples inspired to reach out. I’m glad to know they found my words inspirational, and I’m more glad to know that, in Iowa at least, nobody will have to give that speech again. That inspiration and passion can be directed elsewhere.

Iowa Senate Democrats held onto the state Senate last November and maintain a firewall behind the leadership of Mike Gronstall. When Iowa House Republicans last week introduced yet another bill to ban gay marriage in Iowa, they could find only twelve sponsors, down from 56 four years ago. A bill might still pass the Iowa House, but it’s going nowhere–and it’s certainly not going into our constitution.

Same-sex marriage is here to stay, and those of us with same-sex parents can stop worrying about the government interfering with our family lives. We can look to the future, and use our inspiration and our passion to dedicate ourselves to the building of beloved community and the extension and protection of rights beyond marriage.

As much as my life has changed in the last four years, it’s nothing compared to the broader acceptance of same-sex marriage in this country. Here’s to the next four years–and the next forty.