Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States
Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday after the U.S Supreme Court handed down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states -
States cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions, the Supreme Court says in a ruling that for months has been the focus of speculation. The decision was 5-4.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a pivotal swing vote in the case, wrote the majority opinion. All four justices who voted against the ruling wrote their own dissenting opinions: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
"They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law," Kennedy wrote of same-sex couples in the case. "The Constitution grants them that right."
Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide
In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.
“No longer may this liberty be denied,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the historic decision. “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.”
Marriage is a “keystone of our social order,” Justice Kennedy said, adding that the plaintiffs in the case were seeking “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”
Gay marriage declared legal across the US in historic supreme court ruling
Rainbow lights shone on the White House to celebrate Friday’s US supreme court ruling. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images - Friday 26 June 2015 20.55 BST
Same-sex marriages are now legal across the entirety of the United States after a historic supreme court ruling that declared attempts by conservative states to ban them unconstitutional.
In what may prove the most important civil rights case in a generation, five of the nine court justices determined that the right to marriage equality was enshrined under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.
Same-sex marriage supporters celebrate outside the Supreme Court building in Washington after the ruling on Friday.Credit Jim Bourg/Reuters - Jun 26, 2015
Margaret H. Marshall, the former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, was a legal trailblazer, writing the 2003 majority opinion in the Goodridge case that made Massachusetts the first state to allow gay marriage.
She said Friday she was thrilled to see Constitutional democracy culminate in the Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage throughout the country. “So many times the states lead the way, not because we’re more clairvoyant but because different issues arise in different parts of the country,” she said.
She added that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s language in Friday’s decision was “beautifully crafted.”
“To read that opinion and to see the equality provisions of the United States Constitution given such meaning is far more important to me as a citizen than as the author of the Goodridge decision,” she said.
Rainbow flag maker was inspired by Bible, U.S. flag
Maker of iconic rainbow flag weeps when Supreme Court issues same-sex marriage ruling 2252 GMT (0552 HKT) - June 30, 2015
Gilbert Baker was overwhelmed when he saw the White House lit up like a rainbow.
"I thought, 'I don't have to worry about making the rainbow flag a success anymore.'"
The creator of the multicolored banner marveled as nearly 30 million people on Facebook turned their profile photos into rainbows. Niagara Falls, the Empire State Building and bridges and city halls across the nation celebrated the rainbow, too.