The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, and that states must recognize same sex marriages performed in other states.The ruling reverses the negative decision by the Sixth Circuit Court. Four Justices dissented, with Justice Kennedy as the deciding vote.
The opinion says, “It is now clear that the challenged laws burden the liberty of same-sex couples, and it must be further acknowledged that they abridge central precepts of equality . . . Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm. The imposition of this disability on gays and lesbians serves to disrespect and subordinate them. And the Equal Protection Clause, like the Due Process Clause, prohibits this unjustified infringement of the fundamental right to marry.”
Eric Citron commented, “The opinion appears to echo Windsor in its dual rationales: Marriage is a fundamental right in which homosexual couples must share, and it would also be a violation of equal protection to extend that right only to heterosexual couples.”
From the concluding paragraph of the majority opinion: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. … [The challengers] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Gay Alliance Executive Director Scott Fearing said, “Today is an historic day for LGBTQ Americans: the Supreme Court has honored our rights to form legally recognized families regardless of where we live. This decision will go down in history as one of the most important moments in the LGBTQ movement, celebrated by families across the nation. We are absolutely thrilled that marriage equality is now the norm across the United States.”
Full decision at: