Supreme Court Rules Gay Marriage Is Legal Nationwide

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday morning ruled that same-gender marriage is legal nationwide, giving a huge victory for gay rights advocates.

In its historic 5-4 decision the Court ruled that that gay couples are allowed to marry no matter in which state they live, and that all states must treat gay couples exactly as they treat heterosexual couples.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority with the Court’s four liberal Justices, said, “The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them.”

The Court went on to say that states must recognize a marriage between two people of the same gender when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state.

The majority based its conclusion that same-gender marriage is a fundamental right on “four principles and traditions: (1) right to person choice in marriage is ‘inherent in the concept of individual autonomy’; (2) ‘two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals’; (3) marriage safeguards children and families; (4) marriage is a keystone to our social order.”

The Supreme Court used cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, where restrictions about same-sex marriage were upheld by an appeals court last year, to find that the Constitution does not allow such prohibitions.

In a rare display of dissent, the Court’s most conservative members Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito each wrote their own dissents.

“The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me,” Scalia wrote. “But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch,” adding that the ruling was a “threat to American democracy.”

Roberts wrote that the decision had “nothing to do with the Constitution.”

“If you are among the many Americans of whatever sexual orientation who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

Gay and lesbian groups touted the Court’s decision as a watershed moment for the United States.

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the business voice of the LGBT community, said it is “elated by the Supreme Court’s ruling,” calling it “a momentous win for freedom, equality, and inclusion. The Justices have affirmed what a bipartisan majority of Americans have come to understand: the freedom to marry is a constitutional right that is guaranteed to all Americans.”

On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider four cases,in which lower courts upheld state bans on same-gender marriage.On April 28, the Court heard an historic oral argument in a set of combined cases styled asObergefell v. Hodges,which challenged state laws that prohibited same-gender marriage. Those challenging the laws argued same-gender marriage bans are discriminatory and are an unconstitutional burden on a fundamental right.

Latest News

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…

AbbVie Joins Over 400 Leading US Employers in the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Business Coalition for the Equality Act’

Originally published on LinkedIn. AbbVie ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   AbbVie has joined a group of over 400 corporations and leading U.S. employers to support the Human Rights Campaign’s “Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” an initiative advocating for federal…

Accenture and Goodwill Develop Virtual Experience To Help People Impacted by the Criminal Justice System Enter the Workforce

Originally published at Accenture is ranked No. 5 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Goodwill Industries International has teamed with Accenture to develop an innovative virtual experience called Project Overcome. The experience is designed for people impacted by the criminal justice system who want to…