The Supreme Court has spoken.
In perhaps a true testament to a wave of change currently sweeping across America, in a 5-4 ruling the SCOTUS has officially legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, striking down bans in over 14 states as unconstitutional. It’s a historic win for the gay rights movement and a move supported by the Obama administration.
The decision comes just 2 years after the Supreme Court weakened a portion of the federal anti-gay marriage law, making it illegal to deny government rights to same-sex couples that had wed in states where it was already legal. Public opinion has shifted as well, as the number of Americans in favor of the move has risen from 37% to 60% in just a decade. .
Justice Anthony Kennedy once again wrote the majority opinion stating, “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.”
He added, “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.”
Though there will be delays as some states move to implement the changes, for others including Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan, the legislation will go into effect immediately.