Friday, June 26, 2015

Day of celebration: U.S. Supreme Court rules states must allow same-sex marriage


This is a great day in the U.S.  The Supreme Court today legalized gay marriage in a 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges The opinion holds that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples.  All four dissenting justices wrote an individual dissent.  Justice Kennedy voted with the liberal block.

I'd like to quote from Kennedy’s opinion, as posted here: 

“Marriage is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm. Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations.

“Far from seeking to devalue marriage, the petitioners seek it for themselves because of their respect—and need—for its privileges and responsibilities. And their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment.

“The ancient origins of marriage confirm its centrality, but it has not stood in isolation from developments in law and society. The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. That institution—even as confined to opposite-sex relations—has evolved over time. 

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. 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.”

Predictably, most Republican leaders are standing next to the bigots of old, like other social conservatives did in the past on similar issues like civil rights. 

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