Illustration by Kjersti Faret

IT STILL SEEMS a bit unreal, doesn't it? Maybe because this is the way it should've been all along...

When Judge Michael McShane firmly put the kibosh on Oregon's homophobic same-sex marriage ban last month, and LGBTQ couples began following their dreams to make the jump to marriage, something amazing happened: The sky didn't fall. A hellmouth didn't open up underneath the Moda Center and suck every last Portland sinner into its gaping maw—and weirdly, God didn't even find it necessary to teleport/rescue his fundamentalist followers into heaven (where they'd be saying, "Nyah, nyah, we told you so!" all along the way). Instead, we came closer to a universal truth:

We're all weird. We're all different.

Especially when it comes to marriage. Every marriage is a beautiful fucked-up symphony, filled with laughter, pain, sex (followed by stretches of non-sex), petty fighting, smooching reconciliations, maybe divorce, or in absence of that, death. Marriage is the ultimate two-person start-up company, and it either works, kinda works, or it doesn't work in the least. But the reasons why it can work are often the most surprising of all.

Newsflash: Long before last month's ruling, queer people have been getting married. Gays and lesbians have been getting hitched in other states and countries to be sure... but right here in Oregon, bisexuals have been marrying bisexuals, and straights have been sharing nuptials with gays, bis, lesbians, transgenders, and others... and the sky didn't fall then either. Conservatives thought they could stop love with a "one man/one woman" law—but we're more than just our genders. Man or woman, gay or straight, we're all just big sacks of love. And when we share that love with another, our labels take a backseat.

And that's the point of this year's Mercury Queer Issue, "Same-Sex Marriage 101": to show that every love—straight, gay, or otherwise—is equally wondrous, messed up, and individual... and in very similar ways! We'll have advice from Dan Savage on what NOT to do at your same-sex (or different-sex) wedding, a story about a straight marriage that turned out not to be very straight at all, fashion warnings for the newly married, great advice from happily married lesbians, plus the latest news on the LGTBQ front, the next big battles, AND our top picks for Pride weekend!

And just like your marriage (or relationship), this issue will be anything but normal. So let's celebrate it! Happy Pride Week, everybody! Viva les non-differences!—WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

More Queer Issue Articles

Wedding Don'ts and Wedding Don'ts

The Time is Unripe

Vi and Me

We Won (Kinda)! Now What?

Paper Dolls

I Do and You Can Too: The Right Way to Get Married

The Normal Couple

Two of a Different Kind

Our Top 10 Pride Picks

Your Pride 2014 Event Guide