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1. ‘They Ask for Equal Dignity in the Eyes of the Law’ (pdf)

Justice Anthony Kennedy | The Supreme Court of the United States | June 26, 2015 | 35 minutes (8,784 words)

A historic day: Gay marriage is now legal in the United States. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the 5 to 4 decision. He writes: “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

2. Five Hostages

Lawrence Wright | The New Yorker | July 6, 2015 | 85 minutes (21,294 words)

How five families—feeling neglected by the U.S. government and its policies regarding the kidnapping of Americans—were forced to organize themselves to try to bring their children home.

3. ‘I Don’t Believe in God, but I Believe in Lithium’

Jaime Lowe | New York Times Magazine | June 25, 2015 | 17 minutes (4,419 words)

Jaime Lowe writes about her bipolar disorder, which has been managed by lithium pills for most of her adult life. She fears what will happen when she stops taking it.

4. Can Politico Make Brussels Sexy?

Gideon Lewis-Kraus | The Guardian | June 18, 2015 | 26 minutes (6,590 words)

Politico has transformed Washington D.C. journalism in the eight years since the site’s inception. Now they’ve landed in Europe.

5. The Death Doulas

Libby Copeland | The New Republic | June 24, 2015 | 24 minutes (6,050 words)

A hundred years ago, dying in America was a far more intimate experience. A look at how the realities of death became so distant and industrialized, and the small group of women who are fighting to reconnect us to the process of dying.