So last night I went to bed rather early and found myself waking up to this exciting news. The US Supreme Court has handed down its decision on same-sex marriage, which ultimately determines the legality of marriage equality in the US, and I’m beyond excited to announce that the court has ruled in a historic 5-4 decision that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 US states.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. 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. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.”
The day that so many generations of people have dreamed of has finally come. After a few years of lower courts ruling one way or another for state marriage equality, the highest court in the county has ruled that marriage equality is for all US citizens, and that gays and lesbians can be married in all 50 US states. Seriously the celebrating that would be happening in the US at this very moment would be amazing.
The New York Time reports:
“In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage. The 5-to-4 decision, the culmination of decades of litigation and activism, came against the backdrop of fast-moving changes in public opinion, with polls indicating that most Americans now approve of same-sex marriage. As in earlier civil rights cases, the Supreme Court had moved cautiously and methodically, laying careful judicial groundwork for a transformative decision. As late as October, the justices ducked the issue, refusing to hear appeals from rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states. That decision delivered a tacit victory for gay rights, immediately expanding the number of states with same-sex marriage to 24, along with the District of Columbia, up from 19. Largely as a consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision not to act, the number of states allowing same-sex marriage has since grown to 36, and more than 70 percent of Americans live in places where gay couples can marry. The court did not agree to resolve the issue for the rest of the nation until January, in cases filed by gay and lesbian couples in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The court heard extended arguments in April, and the justices seemed sharply divided over what the Constitution has to say about same-sex marriage. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said their clients had a fundamental right to marry and to equal protection, adding that the bans they challenged demeaned their dignity, imposed countless practical difficulties and inflicted particular harm on their children. The Obama administration, which had gradually come to embrace the cause of same-sex marriage, was unequivocal in urging the justices to rule for the plaintiffs. “Gay and lesbian people are equal,” Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. said. “They deserve equal protection of the laws, and they deserve it now” … United States v. Windsor provided the movement for same-sex marriage with what turned out to be a powerful tailwind. The decision struck down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act that barred federal benefits for same-sex couples married in states that allowed such unions. The Windsor decision was based partly on federalism grounds, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion stressing that state decisions on how to treat marriages deserved respect. But lower courts focused on other parts of his opinion, ones that emphasized the dignity of gay relationships and the harm that families of gay couples suffered from bans on same-sex marriage. In a remarkable and largely unbroken line of more than 40 decisions, state and federal courts relied on the Windsor decision to rule in favor of same-sex marriage.”
For the last few years US President Barack Obama has advocated for the advancement of equal rights for US citizens, so it goes without saying it was only a matter of time after the US Supreme Court handed down their landmark decision that the President would deliver a speech applauding the decision, that ultimately is a culmination of remarks he has delivered as the nation’s leader. Watch it below…
This is truly a historic and beautiful moment in the fight for equality. I always believed this day would come for our US brothers and sisters, but during the time when the world has been celebrating Pride, it truly is a special time and gives Pride for 2015 an even more special meaning.