On Friday, June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in all states throughout the country. The court’s ruling was 5-4 in favor of the motion, which effectively ends the gay marriage bans remaining in 14 states, relegating the bans to a thing of the past. Supporters throughout the nation are celebrating the landmark decision to allow same-sex couples the same marital rights as heterosexual couples.
Justice Anthony Kennedy documented his opinion that there is no greater union than marriage. Kennedy has been a supporter of gay rights for years. He says gay couples just want to live as everyone else does.
Supporters in the California community organized a rally in celebration of the United States Supreme Court’s decision, which gave same-sex couples the right to enter into marriage anywhere they want. The rally was held in Hollywood and gave supporters a chance to rejoice in their success after 20 years of arguing in the courts for gay rights.
The first mayor to come out of the closet in the United States was Robert Garcia of Long Beach, California. He was present at the celebratory rally in California, hoisting the rainbow flag in honor of same-sex marriage becoming legal. He started the celebration by quoting from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., saying, “The road to morality is long, but it turns toward justice.” Garcia continued by saying that the Supreme Court’s decision was a victory for equality, love, and freedom for everyone.
The court’s ruling will take a few weeks to take effect because of a standard grace period which gives the losing side a chance to appeal. Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan are the states which currently only recognize marriage as being between a man and a woman. These states could decide to allow same-sex marriages, and change their laws, or they could appeal the decision.
The U.S. Supreme Court, almost two years ago, ruled against a portion of a same-sex marriage law which denied a certain amount of government assistance to same-sex couples who had been legally married. That case did not address the legitimacy of bans put on gay and lesbian marriage, but several states which had laws against same-sex marriage did recognize the decision, and changed their laws preventing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Just under two-thirds of the United States currently allows same-sex marriage. There are just under 400,000 same-sex couples in the U.S. today, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA. Under 100,000 of these couples are presently living in states that prohibit them from marrying.
President Obama announced that the ruling was justice with a lightning bolt. The United States Supreme Court ruling, which says same-sex marriage is legal, allows gay and lesbians to get married anywhere in the country, and is a landmark decision that was a long time coming for many.
By Katherine Miller-Chichester
Edited by Jennifer Pfalz
CBS Los Angeles: SOCAL cities celebrate SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage
21 News: SCOTUS: Gay couples have the right to marry in…
Yahoo News: Same-sex couples can now marry across the U.S.
Photo Courtesy of Karen’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License