The Supreme Court of the United States on Friday legalized marriage for same-sex couples throughout the entire United States. Previously, same-sex marriage was only legalized in certain states which passed legislation. This has been a major political and social issue for decades in the United States, making this verdict from the Supreme Court historic.
The landmark ruling will produce the most significant change in matrimony laws since the court struck down bans on interracial marriage almost 50 years ago. The ruling also cancels bans on same-sex marriage in 14 US states, most of which are geographically situated in the “Bible Belt” areas of the Southern US. Prior to today, 36 US states permitted gay marriage.
Today’s ruling overturned a decision from Cincinnati’s Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the right of states to maintain “the traditional definition of marriage.”
The ruling was a 5-4 decision with the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. He spoke about marriage equality saying, “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.”
President Obama reacted on twitter saying “Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else.
Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins— President Obama (@POTUS44) June 26, 2015
Speaking from the White House shortly after the decision, President Barack Obama called the ruling a “victory for America.”
“When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free,” Obama said.
“All marriages, at their root, are about love,” Vice President Joe Biden added in a written statement released by the White House.