Same-Sex Marriage Legal in all 50 States [Updated]

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The Justices of the Supreme Court of the U.S.

The Justices of the Supreme Court of the U.S.

By: Editorial Staff—

In a historic decision, the High Court has ruled 5-4 that same-sex marriage is legal across the nation. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion, cementing the decision. Kennedy says the constitution grants them [gay people] that right. Read the Court’s decision here.

Ruling by the narrowest of margins, the Justices ruled on gay rights in favor of the constitutional question. The Justices voting in favor of this historic ruling for marriage equality are: Justice Kennedy, Justice Ginsburg, Justice Kagan, Justice Sotomayor and Justice Breyer. The Justices dissenting were: Chief Justice Roberts, Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

The decades of discrimination against gay people have finally ended. The ruling invalidates discriminatory laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and as a practical matter, requires all 50 states to allow same-sex couples to marry.

GLAD’s Mary Bonauto spoke with regards to Question 1, the question she argued in front of the Court. She said “Today was a momentous decision and it is going to bring joy to gay people … Gay people can marry the person they love today. It is also a great thing for kids who no longer have to question why their parents were unworthy…”

Today and from now on, the constitution requires that all states nationwide must recognize marriage equality. June 26th also marks the anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas, which undid the criminalization of homosexual behavior.

President Obama, prior to his speech, called Jim Obergefell to congratulate him. Obergefell v. Hodges, is the case that presented the question of whether the Fourteenth Amendment required a state to recognize a same-sex marriage validly licensed by another state. For details go to: www.aclu.org/cases/obergefell-et-al-v-hodges-freedom-marry-ohio. Although Obergefell’s partner passed due to ASL, he said the moment was enough for him to cheer this victory.

Bourke v. Beshear, is a federal court challenge to Kentucky’s constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples. For details, go to: www.aclu.org/cases/bourke-v-beshear-love-v-beshear-freedom-marry-kentucky.

The questions the attorneys argued were: Whether states had to recognize the marriage of others states. And whether there is a constitutional right granting marriage in any given state. Justice Kennedy says the “constitution forbids discrimination against certain groups …”

According to the Advocate, “The Court determined that the U.S. Constitution does indeed require states to allow same-sex marriages, effectively striking down existing bans in the 14 states that have yet to embrace marriage equality.”

The second issue of whether states can prohibit same-sex marriages, but still be required to recognize legal same-sex marriages performed elsewhere was found to be a non-issue because each state is now constitutionally required to allow same-sex couple to marry.

This decision reverses a former ruling (November 2014) by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, OH, which upheld marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. [pullquote]This decision reverses a former ruling (November 2014) by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, OH, which upheld marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.[/pullquote]

Reactions from Republicans are coming in. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), said “as a father I welcome today’s decision.” As a Senator he said, he would liked the issue had been resolved at “the state level.” He has a gay son.

There has been four opinions on the entire subject of the Supreme court on gay rights. This is a historic, dramatic change that will reverberate for a long time.

In the past, and for older same-sex couples, a heartfelt dilemma came up each time they wanted recognition for their unions. Many came over to Massachusetts, at first, to get married and see if such an union would be recognized in their home state. Disillusionment set in when they realized that it wasn’t recognized and that their states were voting on same-sex marriage bans.

No state can ban gay marriage now. This decision paves the way for weddings in all 50 states. To read more click here.

Already, President Obama tweeted his reaction to the SCOTUS Decision. Some other tweets will be added as the story continues to unfold.

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/614439551491264512/photo/1

 

 

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