THE US Supreme Court has decreed same-sex marriage to be a legal right in all American states. The votes of the judges who make up the Supreme Court were almost evenly split, five to four, but the majority fell on the side of making gay marriage a constitutional right.
Prior to the landmark ruling, 37 states plus Washington DC had legalised gay marriage.
Anthony Kennedy was the judge who cast the deciding vote. In his statement for the majority, he wrote:
“The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.
“The petitioners in these cases seek to find that liberty by marrying someone of the same sex and having their marriages deemed lawful on the same terms and conditions as marriages between persons of the opposite sex.”
There were emotional scenes of celebration outside the court as the news was announced this afternoon (June 26), where many had gathered awaiting the judgement.
Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the case that had lead to the Supreme Court making a judgement, said on the steps outside to those assembled, “Our love is equal.”
He continued: “My hope is that the term ‘gay marriage’ will soon be a thing of the past, that from this day forward it will simply be ‘marriage,’ and that our nation will be better off because of it.”