[Re-posted and updated from earlier today]

We passed that milestone in subscriptions a few minutes ago, marking a great end to a great February here athowler beagle the Dish. Revenue for February is up 25 percent over last year; and traffic hit a post-independence peak of 2.2 million unique visitors and 6.6 million pageviews this month, fueled in large part by interest in the anti-gay religious liberty bills in Kansas and Arizona.

Thanks for making this experiment in subscriber-supported online journalism possible. And if you are still procrastinating on subscribing, it couldn’t be quicker or easier. Subscribe here and help forge a web with fewer ads, ads masquerading as articles and countless distractions.

Update from a “nutty Kansas Democrat” and Founding Member of the Dish:

I renewed last night for $4.48 a month. Given what the 48th state (Arizona) did on Wednesday just seemed right. It’s amazing how fast this is changing isn’t it?  (Wasn’t it just 10 years ago that Bush had a primetime speech pushing for marriage protection?)  I think what you’re doing is worth a cup of coffee a month.  Keep up the good work.

Now make me some Dish swag!

We’re on it. Another Dish supporter:

I know you have probably receive a billion letters from subscribers and I’m a bit late to the party, but I’ve been really busy recently, which I’ll explain below. I’m a “founding member” subscriber and have been following your blog since the white-font-on-purple days, a somewhat liberal Democrat who found your approach to conservative thought refreshing and eye opening.  What caught me most at the time was your push for marriage equality, which as a gay man I yearned for.

I still remember coming out of the closet in 1986, a twenty-year-old college student who realized he couldn’t ignore who he was or would risk being alone his entire life.  The only grief I felt during those first exhilarating and challenging steps of coming out was the knowledge I would never be able to marry the man I loved, no matter who that man would turn out to be.

I met the love of my life on Valentine’s Day in 2006. In November of 2012 we drove from our home state of Arizona to Iowa and were married in the city of Clinton.  We drove because my husband-to-be is a Mexican national who let his visa expire years ago so we could remain together here in the States, so attempting to fly there was too big a risk.  We didn’t know what the future would have in store for us, but we knew we wanted to spend our lives together and marriage was important to both of us.

My husband had been unemployed since the restaurant he worked at went out of business, and we decided it was too risky for him to attempt to find another job (this is Arizona, after all, and we live in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s county).  I was blessed to have employment with a company that allowed me to cover him on my health insurance as my spouse, and an income that was comfortable for me to support the two of us.

We’ve lived for years unable to make long-term plans due to the uncertainty of where we might end up.  I was making plans for how we would begin a new life in Mexico should that become necessary and was saving money like crazy.  My Spanish is poor, and leaving a career I spent twenty years building wasn’t something I wanted to do, but I was planning to do just that if it was the only way to stay together.  My husband hasn’t been able to see his parents in the past seven years. Both are in their mid-eighties, so there was always a sense that he might not ever see them again.  I made a trip in January 2012 – alone – to see them, which was a wonderful experience, but challenging as well due to my lack of Spanish skills.  Still, they and my brothers and sisters-in-law (my husband has a large family), were delighted with my visit.  They have always accepted me as part of the family, even before we were married.

Needless to say, the Supreme Court decision on June 26th was a life-altering event.  Since that amazing day, we filled out our paperwork and submitted the various applications needed so I could sponsor my husband as my legal spouse.   The past few weeks have been especially eventful as we prepared for our green card interview with USCIS, which took place on February 12th.  Everything went extremely well and my husband is on his way to having a green card.  He received his work permit and a social security number a few weeks ago and has recently found a job.  As soon as he has his green card in hand, we will plan to travel together to see the family he hasn’t seen in seven years.

Thanks for reading our story.  You have been a leader in the idea that same-sex marriage was perhaps the most important goal we, the gay community, could achieve if we want true equality.  Thank you for being vocal about this in your blog and elsewhere, long before the “official” gay rights organizations dared to try.  We have a ways to go but, my God, what a year of change 2013 turned out to be!  For the first time my husband and I are entering a life we don’t have to fear, where we can actually make plans and build our life together here in the United States because now there isn’t a threat he will be forcibly taken away.