Landmark SCOTUS Case Confirms Equal Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in All U.S. States

America Has Marriage for All | History Made in Landmark SCOTUS Decision

Melanie Nathan, June 26, 2015

Jim ObergefellThere is no union more profound than marriage and now the Supreme Court of the United States of America  has ruled that every single person in the USA have an equal right to marriage!

This morning at 10.00 am a profound moment in the civil rights history of America. Same-sex couples were told that their equal right to marry in every state of the United States of America is indeed a fundamental right.

The justices have now ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, which is linked to three other cases. Together, they involve a dozen couples who challenged same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee – the only states whose bans on marriage between gay and lesbian couples had been sustained by a federal appeals court.

The majority 5-4 ruling was handed down by Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered the swing vote:  “this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm. The imposition of this disability on gays and lesbians serves to disrespect and subordinate them. And the Equal Protection Clause, like the Due Process Clause, prohibits this unjustified infringement of the fundamental right to marry.”

The Justices who dissented wrote separate dissents instead of a common one, showing slightly different takes on their draconian denials. Roberts, Thomas, Scalia and Alito.  This is the first time that Chief Justice Roberts has read his dissent from the bench according to Court watchers.

Justice Scalia has his own dissent. He leads off by saying that the decision is a “threat to American democracy.” He concludes by saying that “Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before a fall. . . . With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them–with each decision that is unabashedly not based on law, but on the ‘reasoned judgment’ of a bare majority of this Court–we move one step closer –  (SCOTUS BLOG).

From the majority opinion, addressing the role of history in the constitutional analysis: “The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a character protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.”

Melanie Nathan:

We now have our new challenges ahead of us. 1) Let us consider those around the globe who will be detrimentally impacted by the backlash that will result from this landmark ruling for marriage equality in the USA today. Rest assured the fringe radicals will be on vulnerable turf such as African countries – using this ruling to tout their anti-gay fervor couched in religious rhetoric.

The next frontier – decriminalizing homosexuality around the world; and Next frontier # 2) While we can now marry in all of USA, we can still be fired in many states just because we are LGBT. We do not have full equality and that is what we need to be truly free! It is now time to rally in unity and great strength here in the U.S.A. and to insist on Full Federal Equality legislation. The time is now. We do not accept the fringe and half baked ENDA that some groups have allowed to get far in Congress. Its simply not good enough.

It is now improper to speak of “gay marriage” or even “same-sex marriage” – it is time to just speak of marriage – because we are all finally confirmed equal!

Now we are ready for Full Federal Equality in the form of much needed legislation!

Updates:

My Heart is also in Charleston – says Jim Obergefell, the lead Plaintiff- in an emotional speech thanking all – a reminder that all Americans should be treated equally.

Mary Bonauto: “A great thing for kids who do not need to question why their parents cannot marry”

President Obama:

We are all created equal. progress often comes in small increments. Sometimes days like this when  that small steady effort is rewarded with justice. The SCOTUS recognizes that the Constitution guarantees equal marriage. This ruling recognizes that people should be treated equally regardless of who they are or who they love. This will end the patchwork and uncertainty. This will strengthen our community.

The President referred to his 2nd inaugural address. It is great to see that this principle is enshrined into law. Its a victory for the children whose families will be recognized equal to any other.

This ruling is a victory for America.

This ruling affirms what many millions of Americans believe in their hearts. That si we ended DOMA, DADT etc.

Progress made an entire country realize that love is love. What a vindication. What an extraordinary treatment.

Countless anonymous heroes deserve our thanks….

Social Media:

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Sen. Mark Leno Applauds Supreme Court’s Marriage Decision

Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision giving same-sex couples nationwide the freedom to marry. While serving in the California Assembly, Sen. Leno authored two marriage equality bills, which were the first measures passed by any state legislature in the nation.

“Today’s ruling is a defining moment for our nation that dignifies and validates couples who will no longer be treated differently because of who they are and who they love,” said Senator Leno. “This is a long-sought victory for so many people who dared to believe that love, liberty and basic fairness would eventually prevail. The Court’s decision affirms that every American is created equal, loves equally and should be free to pursue life, liberty and happiness.

“One decade ago, California led our nation in passing the first legislation that would have given same-sex couples the freedom to marry. While those bills were vetoed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, our state played a pivotal role in the marriage movement, both legislatively and in the courts. I applaud the many dedicated government leaders, civil rights attorneys, same-sex couples, plaintiffs and grassroots activists who have kept our momentum moving forward, culminating in today’s landmark achievement.

“While we rejoice in this triumph, we must also acknowledge that the challenges for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people do not end here. LGBT people suffer high rates of suicide, threats of violence, bullying, homelessness and unequal pay for equal work. While the courts have embraced an enlightened perspective on marriage, discrimination still persists throughout our society and in our schools and workplaces. We have changed many attitudes, hearts, minds and laws, but our work is far from over.”

View Senator Leno’s videotaped comments on today’s decision: http://youtu.be/y4y_zgr1jS

Senator Mark Leno represents the 11th Senate District of California, which includes San Francisco, Daly City, Colma, Broadmoor and portions of South San Francisco. He is the first openly gay man elected to the California Senate and one of the first two openly gay men elected to the California Assembly. As an Assemblymember, he authored two bills that would have given same-sex couples the freedom to marry in California, making the Golden State the first in the nation to pass such legislation. Senator Leno’s marriage bills passed the Legislature in 2005 and again in 2007, but both measures were vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. www.senate.ca.gov/leno

AND more e-mails pour in:

Here is one from Kate Kendell – ED of NCLR who represented the TN Plaintiffs in the SCOTUS case:

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