Prior to the landmark decision, gay couples could marry in 37 states in addition to Washington DC. After the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States, the remaining states will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage. It’s unclear though, how soon marriage licences will be issued in those states where gay unions were previously prohibited.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
“It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage,” Justice Kennedy said of the couples challenging state bans on same-sex 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.”
Kennedy along with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer all voted in favor of marriage equality. Moments after the Supreme Court’s ruling, Obama tweeted the following.
‘Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins” – @POTUS
For more info, head over to the NY Times.