Goodbye, 2013

In many respects, 2013 was a difficult year, one rife with government shutdowns, political squabbles and the revelation that when it comes to privacy, apparently anything is fair game (thanks, Edward Snowden).

There were tragedies, too. Even in a post-Newtown world, mass shootings continued, and the debate over gun control raged.

But it was also a very good year.

Some of my favorite moments included the entirety of Friday, November 15, when the whole world, it seemed, joined to cheer on 5-year-old Tulelake, Calif., resident Miles Scott's “Batkid” alter ego. The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Scott, currently in remission from leukemia, his wish to become a superhero. San Francisco transformed into Gotham City, bad guys were thwarted and distressed damsels were saved as Scott's caped crusade united social media for good, not evil. Sure, some complained of the $105,000 price tag, but for the rest of us, it was proof that sometimes money, resources and an outpouring of love can align for one perfect day.

Also good: The Affordable Care Act became a reality, and despite ongoing headaches (political, technical, bureaucratic, etc.), it's still an important step in ensuring that millions of Americans won't have to bankrupt themselves in order to get care.

But my very favorite thing about 2013 was the Supreme Court's refusal to rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in California. The court also invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to gay couples. Now, same-sex marriage is legal in 18 states, including Utah where, on December 23, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby refused Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's request that Shelby block his own order making same-sex marriage legal in the state.

Let love rule.