America’s hottest button topic has been resolved, at long last. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in a 5-4 vote, that all people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, have the right to marry in this country. The decision was made on Friday morning.
This case is already one of the most historic cases ever presented before the Court. Marriage equality was already recognized in 37 states as well as the District of Columbia, but now, the 13 remaining states can no longer ban these marriages.
Supreme Court justices found that under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, all states must give marriage licenses to same-sex couples and uphold their marriages regardless of state. The majority opinion was delivered by Justice Anthony Kelly, with typically liberal Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Elena Kagan, Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor joining hm.
The official name for this case, which has already gone down in history, is Obergefell v Hodges. Lead plaintiff Jim Obergefell, an Ohio resident, wished to be listed as the surviving spouse of his partner’s death certificate when he passed in 2013. His partner, John Arthur, suffered from ALS. He and Obergefell had been together for about twenty years, and they married just three months before Arthur passed. Obergefell was joined by a myriad of other gay plaintiffs from states such as Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. All had one thing in common. All were fighting for equal rights and treatment.
Same-sex marriage has been recognized as less of a taboo in the past eleven years. Back in 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow legal, same-sex unions. Again, in 2013, the Supreme Court slayed even more discrimination. They took down the Defense of Marriage Act (1996), and this stated that same-sex couples were prohibited from receiving the benefits that heterosexual marriages would receive, even though their marriage had to be legally recognized in their home state. The Full Faith and Credit clause in the Constitution (Article IV, Section 1) states that all states must recognize a legal performance from another state, even if it is not legal there.
In the past three years, America saw President Barack Obama as the first, acting President to support same-sex marriage. He announced he was in its favor in 2012. Additionally, this was the first year the Democratic Party made marriage equality an ingredient in its platform.
While many conservative states have tried to advocate against gay marriage, they are prepared for this new ruling. They will now issue gender-neutral marriage licenses, and they will keep their offices open for later hours. In Bexar County, Texas, Gerard Rickhoff (the marriage license overseer), claims that if these same-sex couples are treated poorly anywhere else in the United States, he and his home will “embrace” them.
June 26, 2015. Not a day that will live in infamy, but in complete fame.