It’s fantastic that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a sweeping decision Friday allowing gay and lesbian couple to marry nationwide.
In their five to four decision, the justices ruled same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage that state law can’t deny.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote:
Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.
The court consolidated cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, which all had restrictions on same-sex marriage upheld by appeals courts.
In a statement in the White House Rose Garden, Pres. Barack Obama said:
Progress on this journey often comes in small increments, sometimes two steps forward, one step back, propelled by the persistent effort of dedicated citizens. And then sometimes, there are days like this when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.
Crowds cheered the decision outside the Supreme Court.
On Friday, marriages began in most of the 14 states that previously hadn’t allowed same-sex marriages – Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Texas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, Georgia, and Arkansas.
To read about the new marriages in these states, go to Freedom to Marry.
“This ruling is a victory for America,” Obama said in his remarks. “This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. When all Americans are truly treated as equal, we are more free.”