The U.S Supreme Court has overruled an appellate court's decision to uphold gay marriage bans in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
The court ruled in a 5-4 majority in favour of gay marriage with Justice Anthony Kennedy authoring the majority opinion, stating that gay marriage bans are unconstitutional, referencing the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment, which infers that homosexuals are entitled to exactly the same rights as heterosexuals, and this does not exclude marriage.
James Obergefell (the Ohio man who challenged the state laws that prohibited his union with John Arthur) was referenced by Justice Anthony Kennedy who stated "From their beginning to their most recent page, the annals of human history reveal the transcendent importance of marriage."
There are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the U.S according to ULCA's Williams Institute. And another 70,000 same-sex couples who said they would marry in the next three years if it was legal.
President Barack Obama is to deliver a statement on gay marriage at 11am E.T.
Although the law will not be binding for another three weeks, this is fantastic news for the U.S and just in time for the Pride Festivities taking place in New York, Cincinnati and San Francisco this week.
Here are some of the beautiful reactions flying around Twitter right now:https://twitter.com/MsLeaSalonga/status/614447308084744192 https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/614079976892182528 https://twitter.com/johnlegend/status/614448438185447424
Justice Kennedy had these profoundly beautiful words to say in his decision, and we could not agree with him more!
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. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
From 37 states to 50, same-sex marriage is now officially legal. Congratulations America!