Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage Nationwide

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:25 am |
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Love Knows No Boundaries, Nationwide

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 08: U.S. Supreme Court members (first row L-R) Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (back row L-R) Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Associate Justice Elena Kagan pose for photographs in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court building October 8, 2010 in Washington, DC. This is the first time in history that three women are simultaneously serving on the court. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A historic change in the fight for gay rights was made today when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that all Americans regardless of their sexual orientation now have the right to marry whomever they choose.

 

The paragon decision comes after 37 states in the lower courts have come to recognize gay marriage, meaning that the remaining 13 states that ban these unions may no longer hold the right only for heterosexual couples. The ruling effectively overturns gay marriage bans in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan.

 

“The court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. Kennedy was backed by other liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Additionally, “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,” Kennedy wrote. “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,” Kennedy said. “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.”

States must now also recognize gay marriages entered by same-sex couples in other states.

Check out the full SCOTUS marriage equality opinion below.

SCOTUS marriage equality opinion

Love knows no boundaries — nationwide.