Marriage Equality: Law of the Land

Marriage equality is now the law of the land.  In the long-awaited Supreme Court decision, the justices decided 5-4 that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the majority opinion and wrote that gays and lesbians “may not be deprived of liberty” or of that “fundamental right” to marry, and the court said that under the 14th Amendment’s protections, “couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty.”

love-is-loveThe court addressed the argument that granting gays and lesbians the right to marry is a threat to the sanctity of marriage saying; “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 that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness.”

The four justices who voted against the ruling – Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito – each wrote their own dissenting opinions.  Justice Roberts wrote that the court had taken an “extraordinary step” in deciding not to allow states to decide the issue for themselves, saying that the Constitution does not define marriage. And Justice Scalia called the ruling “a threat to American Democracy.”
Shortly after the decision was announced, President Obama addressed the nation from the Rose Garden, saying the court “reaffirmed that all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love,” and called the ruling “a victory for America.”

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