WASHINGTON D.C. (KRON) — The Supreme court ruled 5 to 4 that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide in a landmark decision.
In deciding the fate of same sex marriage, two questions were asked. First was whether states are required to acknowledge and recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where the union is legal, and second is whether states have the authority to ban same-sex marriage. The judges voted for equality.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wass a key player in the decision. Kennedy vocalized his opinions on gay rights, as well as the admission that “it’s very difficult for the court to say, oh, well, we know better” on what a marriage should mean.
As is, same-sex couples can marry in 36 states. Today’s decision now allows it for the remaining 14. The LGBT community and allies have been pushing for a long time for today’s ruling, hoping the U.S. will allow and recognize same-sex marriage, no matter the state law.
According to the Associated Press, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee are asking the court to uphold bans on same-sex marriage and allow the political process, not the courts, to handle major societal changes.
According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, which tracks the demographics of gay and lesbian Americans, there are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, and another 70,000 couples living in states that do not currently permit them to wed would get married in the next three years, the institute says. Roughly 1 million same-sex couples, married and unmarried, live together in the United States, the institute says.
President Obama congratulated same-sex marriage plaintiff Jim Obergefell on the Supreme Court ruling saying, “Your leadership on this has changed the country.”
Not all are happy with the decision, a KRON 4 viewer snapped this photo of a protest above the I-80 overpass in Berkeley.
Some politicians aren’t pleased with the SCOTUS decision either.
But for the most part, there has been an outpouring of celebration and support. District Attorney George Gascon released a statement saying,
“Love is truly the great equalizer, and today’s decision is a victory for the countless LGBT couples whose determination and love for one another led to this historic day. In the nation’s highest court love successfully overcame hate, bigotry and fear. This decision grants same-sex couples the same rights as everyone else, and it reaffirms what has and always will be the truth upon which this country was founded. We are all entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and this is a truth that remains irrespective of whose arms you find that happiness in. Today, more than most days, I am proud and grateful to live in this country. And whether gay or straight, whether you’re a woman or a man, black, white, Asian or Latino, we must always stand for this truth. The pursuit of happiness, and love, guides us as we all fight for a more just and a more humane society. It must also guide us as we work to instill tolerance in generations to follow, so one day we can be the United States in more than name only.”
Other key players chimed in on the decision:
“From this day forward, it will simply be ‘marriage.”’— Lead plaintiff Jim Obergefell.
“I’m trying to breathe. … Now we can live anywhere in the U.S. and be a legally married couple, even if I am transferred. … You can’t always pick and choose where you live. My family doesn’t have to worry anymore.” —Matthew Mansell, who with his spouse, Johno Espejo, was among the plaintiffs.
“Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.” — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
“Every nation has laws limiting who and under what circumstances people can be married. This is because lawmakers have always understood that marriage does not exist just for the mutual satisfaction of the two people involved but for the betterment of society.”— Roman Catholic Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court’s decision does not alter the Lord’s doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice.” — The Utah-based Mormon church, in a statement.
“The Supreme Court sided with love, justice and dignity over bigotry and intolerance. By holding that the Constitution protects the right of each American to marry the person they love, the Court vindicated the principle of equal justice under law.” — Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
“Today’s ruling strikes a blow to inequality and discrimination throughout the nation, and that’s good for Americans’ mental health.” — Renee Binder, president of the American Psychiatric Association, which in 1973 removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.