Never let anyone tell you there’s no point in trying to change the world for the better. Never let anyone tell you’ve got to wait another lifetime before the system is ready to do the right thing. #MarriageEquality just became the law in all 50 states. #LoveWins
Supreme Court finds constitutional right to gay marriage
Yahoo.com by Liz Goodwin and Meredith Shiner
The Supreme Court has found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, striking down bans in 14 states and handing a historic victory to the gay rights movement that would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago.
Anthony Kennedy, a conservative justice who has broken with his ideological colleagues to author several decisions expanding rights for LGBT people, again sided with the court’s four liberals to strike down the state bans. The 5-4 majority ruled that preventing same-sex people from marrying violated their constitutional right to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment and that the states were unable to put forth a compelling reason to withhold that right from people.
“It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage,” Kennedy wrote of same-sex couples. “Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.”
“They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law,” he continued. “The Constitution grants them that right.”
The United States is now just the 21st country in the world to allow same-sex marriage in every jurisdiction.
President Barack Obama, responding publicly at the White House to Supreme Court decisions for the second consecutive day, heralded the landmark decision, stating that justices definitively “reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to equal protection under the law.”
“Our nation was founded on a bedrock principle that we are all created equal. The project of each generation is to bridge the meaning of those founding words with the realities of changing times — a never-ending quest to ensure those words ring true for every single American. Progress on this journey often comes in small increments,” Obama said. “Sometimes there are days like this when that slow steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.”
Supporters of gay marriage and LGBT cheer outside the Supreme Court after the justices ruled that gay marriage is a constitutional right in Washington, DC. (Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA)
Obama, who did not publicly support marriage equality when he first ran for the White House in 2008, touted his endorsement for same-sex marriage in his second campaign as well as the administration’s repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 2011 as markers of progress for gay rights under his watch.
Chief Justice John Roberts read a stinging dissent from the bench as Kennedy sat beside him, his hand on his chin. Roberts wrote that the decision showed “disrespect” for the democratic process and that the American people should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to accept this huge social change. “Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law,” Roberts wrote. “Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.”
Roberts told same-sex couples they could “celebrate today’s decision,” even though he disagreed with it so strongly — but reminded them that they should not celebrate the U.S. Constitution.
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