LOS ANGELES -- In 1953, Mason Gaffney and Estelle Lau got married.
They were young, itinerant professors, he of economics, she of education. Because of Lau's Chinese heritage, and because the U.S. Supreme Court had not yet struck down race-based marriage restrictions, when they moved out of California, their marriage was no longer recognized. "It was unthinkable," said their son, Stuart Gaffney.
And then, in 1987, it wasn't -- because Stuart Gaffney moved to San Francisco and fell in love with a man named John. The family embarked on a second journey through the labyrinth of judicial and public sentiment, whiplashing from moments of bliss, such as the couple's 2008 marriage, to days of heartbreak, such as the passage of Prop. 8, the amendment that banned gay marriage in California.
Then came Wednesday, when President Barack Obama declared that the "evolution" of his position on gay marriage was complete. Each of the family's odysseys has come with a moment when it became clear that they were on the right side of history, and for Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis -- together now for 25 years -- this was it.