BREAKING: Supreme Court makes marriage equality law of the land in 5-4 decision

In a 5-4 decision this morning, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v Hodges that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, and that states must recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion, which comes two years to the day after he wrote the 2013 opinion that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act but avoided legalizing same-sex marriage outright.

As the Court held in its majority opinion, one of the core claims made by opponents of marriage equality, that the traditional notion of marriage was between one man and one woman, simply does not hold up under historical scrutiny:

The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. Changes, such as the decline of arranged marriages and the abandonment of the law of coverture, have worked deep transformations in the structure of marriage, affecting aspects of marriage once viewed as essential. These new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution. Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.

Importantly, the Court based its decision in the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause, making the issue one of equal protection. Citing Loving v Virginia, which invalidated bans on interracial marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy held “The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs.

In a similar vein, he wrote that “the reasons marriage is fundamental under the Constitution apply with equal force to same-sex couples.” As Kennedy powerfully closed:

Rainbow flag, via Wikimedia Commons

Rainbow flag, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Each of the four dissenting justices, Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas, wrote separate opinions.

Not only does this case make marriage equality the law of the land, it sets strong precedent for protecting LGBT citizens across other cases. The same logic used to establish same-sex marriage could be applied to cases concerning non-discrimination or hate crimes — i.e. the next set of struggles for the LGBT movement now that the marriage issue is settled once and for all.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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108 Responses to “BREAKING: Supreme Court makes marriage equality law of the land in 5-4 decision”

  1. terry.hankinson says:


  2. Sweetie says:

    That’s nice but you’re ignoring my point.

  3. Badgerite says:

    And that is why such bans violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

  4. Sweetie says:

    History is nice but what matters is today’s law. If in fact the 1st amendment is not applied equally to all states that is wrong. The US has no business being a theocracy anywhere and should not need another amendment (the 14th) to reiterate that point redundantly.

  5. Sweetie says:

    Any marriage law that make it an institution for heterosexual citizens only is religious in nature and thus definitely an example of theocratic law. This is because it has been a known scientific fact since 1956 that gay people exist and are not disordered. As a result they marry each other. Since gayness is not a problem then the only basis for discriminating against gay people is religious.

  6. Bill_Perdue says:

    Elections don’t matter. Mass actions and building a mass movement matter.

    If we win then then, and only then, will the WH, courts and legislatures suddenly reverse their bigotry and become our ‘friends’.

  7. Badgerite says:

    What seems bizarre now apparently didn’t then. Lincoln did not refer to the Civil War as providing a “new birth of freedom” for nothing. The Amendments passed while the south was in rebellion and could not obstruct them, fundamentally altered the structure of the republic.
    For the better.
    And what could possibly be more bizarre than a country which talks of God given rights enshrining slavery as an institution in its Constitution?

  8. Badgerite says:

    What the First Amendment bans is the establishment of a state religion or the infringement by the state on a person’s practice of their religion.
    Marriage laws, which have been around forever, hardly establish a state religion. Or infringe anyone else’s religion. What’s more, the 14th Amendment is what the federal courts have used to apply the federal Bill of Rights to restrict state action. Certainly before the Civil War the south passed all sorts of gag laws which denied their own citizens any right to express an opinion which challenged slavery. Supporters of abolition in the south, and there were some for sure, risked more than crowd action.
    They risked legal action.
    But if you read Justice Kennedy’s decision, you will see that the 14th Amendment is relied on to invalidate the state marriage bans as a violation of equal protection and as an infringement on the liberty of its citizens.
    He relied on both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process clause.

  9. Badgerite says:

    Here’s the actual text of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment.
    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; not deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
    From Wikipedia.
    ” The Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship, overruling the Supreme Court’s decision in Dred Scott v Sanford (1857) which held that Americans descended from African American slaves could not be citizens of the United States. The Privileges and Immunities Clause has been interpreted in such a way that it does very little.
    The Due Process Clause prohibits state and local government officials from depriving persons of life, liberty or property without legislative authorization. This clause has also been used by the federal judiciary to make the Bill of Rights applicable to the states as well as recognize substantive and procedural requirements that states must satisfy.
    The Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This clause was the basis for Brown v Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court decision that precipitated the dismantling of racial segregation, and for many other decisions rejecting irrational or unnecessary discrimination against people belonging to various groups.”

    Until the 14th Amendment, the Bill of Rights was thought to restrain the federal government against abuse of the liberties of its citizens. And such restraint was clearly necessary given the brief flirtation with censorship of political speech via the Alien Sedition Acts signed into law by John Adams. But before the Civil War, the south has all kinds of laws known as Gag Laws that forbid any speech in support of abolition.
    The 14th Amendment fundamentally changed the Constitution and ensured that restraint of official action that abridged the rights of a citizen of the United States acted on state officials as well as federal.

    I’m off to get some breakfast. Have a good day.

  10. Sweetie says:

    Why do you keep bringing up the Bill of Rights?

  11. Sweetie says:

    The point I made is that the 1st amendment already covered the problem of religious law. It bars theocratic law very explicitly.

  12. Sweetie says:

    The 1st amendment isn’t in the Bill of Rights.

  13. Badgerite says:

    The Bill of Rights only applies to the states via the 14th Amendment. That was it’s purpose. Each state has it’s own Constitution. But the Bill of Rights in the Federal Constitution cannot be abridged precisely because of the 14th Amendment. It is critical to this outcome.

  14. dcinsider says:

    Now that I’ve had a few days to digest this news, read and re-read the majority and dissents, and consider just how momentous this decision truly is, it strikes me as to how close we were to this never happening in our lifetimes.

    Had John McCain won, we would not have seen Justices Kagan and Sontomayor on SCOTUS. In their place, no doubt, would have been conservatives, far more in line with the feelings and bigotry of the dissents, than the sweeping affirmations of the majority. Had McCain won, this would have been at least 5-4 in the other direction, but more likely 6-3 against us.

    That would have meant hundreds of millions of dollars out of the coffers of our supporters, and likely a decade or more of state by state battles.


    President Obama might not have been all that progressives had hoped for. Certainly there is plenty in his record to pick apart, complain about, or be disappointed in. However, had he not been elected in 2008, our community would be far worse off.

    Elections have consequences. How often have we heard those words? However, this weekend, their meaning truly sunk in.

    Elections have consequences.

  15. Badgerite says:

    The Bill of Rights was drafted to restrain the actions of the Federal Government. The 14th Amendment is the one that applies the bill of rights and all of those protections to the states.
    These cases involved state laws amounting to a ban on marriage for gay people.
    The 14th Amendment is not “icing on the cake”. It is essential to the application of the protection of the Bill of Rights to restrain state actions that infringe upon those rights.
    States have generally had the authority to establish their own marriage laws. But those laws still must comport with the requirements of the 14th Amendment. Most especially the Equal Protection Clause. Religion comes into the debate at the point that the state laws are enacted to deny a right to gays that want to marry based on an animus, whether religious or personal.
    The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits states from enacting laws based on animus of any kind. They must have a rational reason that relates to a legitimate state interest. They must show a harm that is caused to society by SSM and they simply could not do so because it is not there. As you say, the bans were based on religious or other animus. Not on a legitimate interest that society has in marriage laws.
    Justice Kennedy took some time and trouble to identify the right to marry as such a defining aspect of who a person is that it rises to the level of a liberty interest that should be protected under the 14th Amendment. But just about any state law dealing with any mundane subject or any group of people must comport with the requirements of the Equal Protection Clause. The right of the states to single out a particular group of people and deny them the rights and benefits of a marriage contract ends when the state can show no rational reasons for doing so. No real societal interest that is being served by the restriction. At the point that the state cannot show this, the law becomes discrimination and violates the 14th Amendment.

  16. Badgerite says:

    I believe it was the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment that was relied on by the Majority Opinion. Plus a recognition of the a liberty interest inherent in the right to marry. The problem for the opponents of SSM wasn’t that religion was one of the reasons that they were against it.
    The problem was that religion was the only reason they were against it.
    If, at any time, they could have provided evidence that there was some harm that flowed to society from Gay people getting married, they would have had a better case. The standard, I believe, is that the discrimination envisioned in the bans must have a rational relationship to a legitimate state interest. That is a pretty low bar and they couldn’t even meet that.
    And the Equal Protection Clause prevents the State for enacting legislation that burdens a distinct group of people based on nothing other than animus. religious or personal.

  17. SkippyFlipjack says:

    Listen, Sweetie..

    I don’t actually have a response, but if I did I would have led it that way. :)

  18. SkippyFlipjack says:

    All these idiot do is offer opinion.

    Funny, you wrote my reply for me.

  19. Indigo says:

    Thank you.

  20. justoneminute says:

    Mike Trotter, Kensington Kid, internet bully and bigot, with 25 years experience for a Philly carpet company that has more online one-star reviews and fraud allegations than just about any other flooring business in the greater metro area.

    Anyways, I can see how a lifetime of installing and cleaning carpet for alleged fraudsters has totally qualified you to offer your reasoned and informed opinions on race relations and constitutional law.

  21. Sweetie says:

    That’s nice but also rather irrelevant since the constitution clearly mandated same-sex marriage given the 1st amendment’s prohibition on theocracy alone. The 14th amendment just nailed the nail in again.

  22. Sweetie says:

    That was Lawrence but this is #2.

  23. Sweetie says:

    Obama’s appointees were key. I doubt that even Bush’s favorite lawyer (Miers) would have voted in favor had she managed to sneak in, although I suppose it’s possible given Olson.

  24. Sweetie says:

    Playgirl became increasingly focused on the gay male audience and eventually ceased printing. Women apparently just aren’t that interested (comparatively) in looking at naked men, although my best friend’s mother had a subscription.which is how I found out that he’s somewhat bi (of course he denied it at the time when I found a copy in his bed).

  25. Sweetie says:

    Between them, O’Connor and Scalia almost managed to realize the 14th amendment matters in Lawrence (with Scalia patronizingly commenting on O’Connor’s, admittedly weak, invocation of it). It’s ironic, but not unexpected, that, despite being the only justice who came closest to arguing for same-sex marriage from a constitutional basis all those years ago — he was never able to make the leap over his bias to fulfill the logic.

  26. Sweetie says:

    Your example is merely an example of how sexual rights are sexual rights. As I already said, sexual rights is a broader fight than the gay rights fight.

    As for how people ignorantly perceive these struggles, ignorance does not trump reality. They can see us as invaders from Mars if they want to but that doesn’t make it so.

  27. GarySFBCN says:

    The fight to not be fired for being gay is the same as the fight to not be fired for being trans.

    In the eyes of those who hate we, we are all the same.

  28. Sweetie says:

    There are many. The broadest, in terms of majority/minority, is the fight to lessen the negative impact being a minority has on a minority member’s life, due to the inherent inequality stemming from not being a member of the majority.

    Below that there are others, like sexual rights. Gayness, transgenderism, bisexuality, crossdressing, multiple spouse marriage, feminism (e.g. burkas and headscarves), and others are sexual rights issues.

    Within gayness there is lesbianism and homosexual maleness. Gayness is closely related to bisexuality and more distantly related to transgenderism. etc.

    No, there is no just one fight. Possibly biggest fight of all is the search for meaning which may even outweigh the search for immortality.

  29. GarySFBCN says:

    My heart aches for you and Bill. I’m happy that you both survived. Please do share your stories often.

  30. GarySFBCN says:

    “But, ultimately, we have two different fights in addition to a broader fight we can join as allies.”

    That is nonsense. There is one fight.

  31. Sweetie says:

    If one wants to be inclusive one needs to extend the umbrella to all minorities and get an endless acronym. The other option is to be more narrowly focused. Transgenderism is not gayness. It’s not, no matter how angry you may become about not being focused on.

    Gay people love their sex. Transgendered people want to become the opposite sex of the one they were born with. That is a polar opposite. It’s just as different as crossdressing, which heterosexuals do (usually men as a way to deal with the pressure of gender rigidity).

    I don’t begrudge your people anything. You have a tall struggle for sure. But, you are not gay people. Bisexuals aren’t gay people either. At the end of the day, the only gay people are men who are attracted just to men and women who are attracted just to women. From there we can even split it further into males and females, which does happen.

    And, that is not a bad thing when it happens. There are times when focus is better than being amorphous. This is one of the reasons why you don’t see gay folk push polygamy/polyandry. A few of us may want to have more than one spouse. Bisexuals who are close to the 50/50 mark for attraction in particular may want to be able to marry one person of each sex. But, what happens when the gay community suddenly becomes the focal point for multiple spouse marriage? I’ll tell you what happens, our core message is diluted. Maybe that’s OK in some circumstances but it definitely has drawbacks.

    Ideally there would be no need for gay rights. Everyone would have their rights. Everyone would be equal. But, until that time happens there will be some aspect of selfishness in play. Every minority tries to get a piece of the pie that the majority controls and that requires that they identify their need, which in turn requires that they identify themselves (which is exclusionary as you can’t be all things).

    Be glad when gay people give you any attention. We should be glad when trans people give us any attention. But, ultimately, we have two different fights in addition to a broader fight we can join as allies.

  32. Sweetie says:

    I suppose they all ignored the 1st Amendment like everyone else is content to do.

    The 1st amendment prohibits theocracy and yet, given Hooker’s 1956 work — the first conducted without a polluted sample and resultant illusory correlation between homosexuality and mental illness — the ONLY basis for putting heterosexism into law is a religious one.

    Given that it has been known for almost sixty years that homosexuality is not a mental illness and thus not a problem, there is truly nothing left to base a two-tier hierarchy of superior hetero and inferior homo on.

    The 14th Amendment is just additional icing. It’s not even necessary because no state can violate the 1st amendment.

  33. Indigo says:

    We have much in common, including uncertainty about which one is Playgirl and the other one is Playboy. I think we’re fans of Playgirl. Playboy was the one with girlie tits. (Are they even around anymore?)

  34. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I always enjoyed the Play Girl pictures. I would have hated being shocked while looking at them. That would have been a total waste of some beautiful men.

  35. Denver Catboy says:

    I’m not sure what this has to do with Badgerite’s post.

    Badgerite was saying that it matters who you vote for when it comes to Supreme Court nominations.

    It does. If the Democrats win, you get people like Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan, who voted for this. If the Republicans win, you get people like Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas, who didn’t.

    The former four plus Kennedy (who the Conservatives are growing to hate for not voting lockstep with them 100%) made this possible. But Kennedy, Ginsberg, Breyer, and Scalia are over 70, with Ginsberg about to hit the big eight-oh. It’s very likely that at least one of them will retire or pass by 2024. That’s two liberal, one conservative, and one swing vote. If Ginsberg leaves the court, you either replace her with someone you get to choose (who may or may not be exactly what you want), or you let Team Red replace them, and I guarantee you that you won’t like their choice. If Kennedy leaves and Team Red gets to pick, I’m absolutely certain that whoever replaces him will be detrimental to the US. And if Scalia leaves, and we end up having a Team Blue picking his replacement, maybe we could put the issue of marriage equality for gays out of reach for a long time. But if we let Team Red have those picks? Well, gays will be fighting for marriage (and a whole lot of other stuff) all over again….

    So. Like Badgerite said. You want to ensure this stays? Get out and vote.

  36. Denver Catboy says:

    Well said.

  37. Denver Catboy says:

    Never forget it. And while Team Blue is not without its flaws, remember that if it wasn’t for them, this would have gone the other way. Our side is cowardly, so we need to always push them to make the best choices, but for now, the other side is just plain mean, so if we don’t take the notion of ‘fight for the progressive in the primary, fight for the Democrat in the general’, this could well get rolled back next term.

  38. Denver Catboy says:

    I don’t begrudge anyone their faith, and I’m happy to see churches and religious individuals getting onboard with this. The only thing I have problems with are people being d–ks. Sadly, even after the case, there are plenty of those going around.

  39. Denver Catboy says:

    You know. If this were RedState and you were arguing from our point of view, you’d be gone in a heartbeat. I thought I should point that out.

    By the way, your Crocodile Tears of Rage are most delicious. :)

  40. 2karmanot says:

    Same here Indigo. I was made to look at Play Girl pictures and then shocked. It had just the opposite effect I am glad to say. About two weeks in, someone broke into the office and stole the collection. Opps, sessions ended.

  41. KayInMaine says:

    I’ve thought of you often Margaret in all the years I’ve been gone. <3 I just came back today to see the celebration on here. Heehee.

  42. KayInMaine says:

    What a historic week!!!!!!

  43. The_Fixer says:

    Well, it’s Sunday morning and I still can’t get over this. I’ve saturated more than a few tissues with tears of joy, and wondering if I should worry about dehydration.

    46 years ago today, a bunch of brave LGBT people stood up to an oppressive, authoritarian New York Police Department and announced that they, and their queer brothers and sisters, were not going to take it any more. It was not the first such demonstration of our resolve to become real, full citizens. But it was perhaps the most prominent and sparked a conversation that we’re still having today.

    I’ll always remember the lions who started this all long before it was fashionable to have a gay BFF, to Grand Marshall a Pride parade, or talk about loving someone of the same gender, even if it was platonic. People like Harry Hays, Bayard Rustin, Barbara Gittings, Brenda Howard, Frank Kameny, and Sylvia Rivera paved the way for this, and at no small cost to themselves.

    Lots more work to do, but now it seems attainable. I’ll cry more tears of joy when the last impediment to our living as truly equal people is finally removed. Let’s hope that this watershed moment spurs that action sooner rather than later.

  44. margaretpoa says:

    Bullshit. SCOTUS didn’t “make” any laws. What they did was find several laws that individual state Congresses made unconstitutional. That is their role. But don’t fret, you’re still allowed to express your hatred on websites.

  45. 2karmanot says:

    Thank you Mike. It is ironic that Trace and I met and fell in love about five years after losing our first husbands to AIDS. We vowed to stay and take care of each other as we grew old and so we did. I am very grateful for that. Yet, it still amazes me how much anguish a broken heart can hold.

  46. Bookbinder says:

    Thanks. Nice to have a place to go to celebrate this. It’s also possible to understand the Due Process Clause as a restriction on the part of the state to deny anybody their property or liberty (the right to marry) without due process (a trial). It’s a real fundamental because the English were doing it to Americans all the time; So it was a big deal to the Founders. Unfortunately, none of this will bring back my dead ‘husband ‘ who died from GOP neglect.

    And, if you wouldn’t mind, please kill that nasty, obnoxious pop-up. No, I would also be interested in anything that blocks 30% of my screen.

  47. Thom Allen says:

    Mike, We know you’re upset since your marriage has suddenly failed, you are now looking for a hot man to gay-marry and locusts are devouring your garden.

    But your rant is incorrect throughout. In case you didn’t notice, SCOTUS didn’t MAKE a law, yesterday. It ruled on cases that were brought before it where, it was alleged, that states were in violation of federal law. That’s the process of judicial review. SCOTUS ruled that those laws were unconstitutional. That is a primary function of SCOTUS.

    Wrong again, SCOTUS does NOT just “offer an opinion.” They can strike down laws that are ruled unconstitutional as they did yesterday. It’s part of the checks and balances system. That means that, with their action, it is now required that all states permit Marriage Equality. Prohibiting Marriage Equality is unconstitutional.

    Of course their opinions aren’t infallible, but their rulings are official and have authority that supersedes state law, Mike. Prohibiting Marriage Equality is now ILLEGAL in all of the U.S.

    The Administration didn’t make the decision, SCOTUS did. I know you want to somehow blame President Obama for this, but that won’t work. Thought he DID support Marriage Equality and was thrilled when he heard SCOTUS’ decision. Now it’s our turn to say, “Thanks, Obama!”

    You don’t understand, it’s not about YOUR freedoms, it’s about ALL of our freedoms. We’re all now free to marry. And how have your freedoms been affected, Mike? I’d be interested to know. Are you now being prevented from attending the church of your choice? Did the government disable your marriage or is it now preventing straight marriages? Are your children being shown gay pornography in schools? Is the IRS preventing you and your wife from filing taxer as a couple? Have busloads of gays arrived at your house, demanding to hug you? Has your employer dropped your wife and kids from your health insurance? If you move to Arizona, does your marriage suddenly become invalid?

    BTW, since so much of your post was incorrect, I’d suggest that you do some reading about how the government works.

    Now, calm down, go find a local Gay Pride event and attend. You might meet a wild gay hunk that you’ll want to court.

  48. nicho says:

    One good thing about the ruling is that it did flush out all the bigots.

  49. Denver Catboy says:

    As I put it over and over again yesterday, your tears are most delicious. :)

  50. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    You once asked me how I moved on after my first husband’s death. I lost him a little over five years ago. We had been together for almost 28 years. I had basically spent my entire adult life with him. I was able to hold him as he left me. I never knew that grief was practically a physical pain. I moved on accidentally.

    I would have never gone out husband hunting, but I met a guy at a picnic. We had something in common, we had each lost our husbands at about the same time. We became a two men support group. After a couple of years, we started to become more. We both went through a period of feeling we weren’t honoring our late husbands. It slowly became obvious that allowing someone new in your heart doesn’t require one to push someone else out of it. Hearts are expandable. I will always love my late husband, but I can not imagine not loving my husband.

    You may not move on with someone else, but I do hope you will find solace in your wonderful memories of Trace. He sounds like a wonderful man.

  51. Colin says:

    I shall never forget your kindness when he passed

  52. Bill_Perdue says:

    You lost. That’s a good thing.

  53. Houndentenor says:

    True. I was referring to appelate court judges. You are totally right about SCOTUS.

  54. Mike Trotter says:

    Bullshit, They don’t make the law, Congress does. The Executive branch enforces it. All these idiot do is offer opinion. They don’t have the power to make it a law. And their opinions are NOT infallible. This post is not about homo’s. Its about our freedoms and this administration’s a-moral disgusting agenda.

  55. Badgerite says:


  56. Badgerite says:

    Really! They should have just said, “We got nothin'”.
    It would have been more honest and far more eloquent.

  57. Badgerite says:

    Well, Ted Olson. Enough said. This is not really a political issue. It was Bush’s Brain that made it so. And that is the point. Even with those Republican judges along the way, this came down to 5 votes on the Supreme Court. Do you doubt that if Mitt Romney or John McCain had made the appointments to the Court that occurred during Obama’s term, DOMA would still be the law of the land? And that we would not be celebrating this decision for marriage equality tonight?

  58. BeccaM says:

    Thanks MerryMarjie for making my wife and me feel welcomed to the club, along with all the other gay and lesbian couples out there who will be legally entitled to the status of “families.”

  59. MerryMarjie says:

    I’m a little old granny who cheered mightily when I heard the news. I grew up hearing all the epithets thrown at gay people, all the snickers, and for a good part of my life, I believed it. Something happened partway through my life when I decided that people are people, and though we all may be different, we’re all just the same. I stopped believing in the Sky Man and began celebrating life here on Earth. I am so proud of America today in recognizing that we truly are all created equal. I know there is going to be great dissent and uproar over this decision (see: Ted Cruz, Pat Robertson and ilk), but now we are all strong knowing this is the law. I congratulate everyone who achieves happiness now with this law, and I don’t believe for one moment this will affect my marriage of 50 years!

  60. Indigo says:

    Don’t ask permission, just do it.

  61. Bill_Perdue says:

    Glad to see how well you survived.

    Defiance is a powerful tool.

    His was a forced marriage.

  62. Indigo says:

    That’s very touching, an unfortunate turn in your life. He was probably as embarassed as you were disappointed. I don’t have that kind of story to tell but I can tell about having been emotionally forced into aversion therapy with the electric shock treatments the medical establishment favored in the late 1950s and early 1960s. What a real American horror story! But you know what? It didn’t work and I’m still here, I’m still queer. So that’s kind of a triumph. You too. We’re survivors.

  63. Bill_Perdue says:

    On the legal front that’s true. They did a good job. On the political front it was the unyielding pressure of the LGBT communities that set the stage foe the legal battle and insured it’s success.

  64. margaretpoa says:

    Many years ago, back in the infancy of the internet, John Aravosis had a little thing called [email protected] and those of us on that list worked very hard on a campaign to stop “Dr”. Laura Schlessinger, whose homophobic bigotry was polluting talk radio and television at the time. After some hard work, similar to the FlushRush effort that’s having such great results today, John asked the group what our next focus should be. I advocated for the right for LGBTrans Americans to be granted the “right” to work and support ourselves, the “right” to be treated in a hospital, the “right” to just be. The group on the other hand was very much in favor of marriage equality as a goal. When, I asked back then, would trans rights ever be a priority to the larger community? After some harsh words, I left the group.

    Fast forward a couple of years and [email protected] had morphed into an early Americablog and I became a sort of a franchise member around here and stayed that way for several years, all the while advocating for trans inclusion in the larger struggle. At one point, some members of this little corner of the internet decided that trans people were not really part of the LGB(T) community and wtf were they even tolerating us for? That led to my again leaving this Aravosis led effort but not before I asked once again WHEN the gay and lesbian community would be willing to fight for our struggle as we have always done for theirs. Harsh words were exchanged, alliances forged and broken and an unpleasant experience it was.

    Now, after around eight years, I’m back here to once again ask my question. Congratulations on LGB people receiving full citizenship! Well done! That being said, is NOW the time to address the still lagging civil rights of the “T” in LGBT?

  65. bkmn says:

    The success is due largely to the legal groups involved doing their research and building a case based on established law and by blasting the stream of lies the opposition relied on to suppress LGBT people. As much as Maggie or Brian or Bryan or Tony love to tell lies you would never catch one of them in the witness stand during this or the Prop 8 trial because they would face cross-examination that would have torn them to shreds and permanently discredited them.

  66. bkmn says:

    The dissenting opinionS (capital S because all four of them wrote one) read like spoiled children bitching about not getting their way. A first year law student would be facing a failing grade for drafting such immature and not based in law opinions. Roberts was probably more immature than Scalia for once.

  67. Bill_Perdue says:

    And sometimes not.

    Like the Democrats and Republicans who passed TPP yesterday or the day before.

  68. Mike F says:

    …aaaaand, the usual suspects dissenting. Can anyone really dispute the fact that arch-conservatives and radical right-wingers are fascists, and hell-bent on turning our country into a full-on authoritarian security state?

    Oh, and of course: FUCK YES!!!

    Congratulations to us all, but especially to those for whom this ruling has the most impact.


  69. Bill_Perdue says:

    My first BF in High School was beaten senseless by his father and brother and shipped to southern Colorado to live with his aunt. Other than never getting to say goodbye and being scared to death, nothing happened to me, I didn’t find out what happened until I saw him a few years later driving in ’63 when I was driving some people who’d been to Cuba as part of the Venceremos Brigade.

    He saw me on stage and teared up and his face was a mask of suffering. His wife, who must had had some idea about his story looked at him and then at me and flashed me a very angry look.

    We got to talk for a few minutes and i never saw him again either in the bars or at radical meetings in Denver.

    Life for some us was very rough in the 50’s and most of 1960’s.

  70. docsterx says:

    Might be one near you, nicho. These celebrations start this evening.

  71. docsterx says:

    There are Marriage Equality celebrations happening in over 150places in the U.S. today.

    There may be one near you.

  72. docsterx says:

    OMG! Same-sex couples are being MARRIED in places like TEXAS and GEORGIA! It’s almost unbelievable. But it’s real. Thank you Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kennedy, Sotomayor and Kagan!
    And thank you to everyone who worked so long and hard to help us reach this point.

  73. Indigo says:

    Well, actually, it was pretty clear from what Thomas had to say that he would not object. I think that’s enough right there to call for a mental health review. He’s gone, baby. Gone.

  74. Indigo says:

    We’re not that powerful, Bill. There’s more involved such as the reality of the Constitution, the rule of fairness, and our incredibly good taste, manners, and sense of fashion as well. :-)

  75. Houndentenor says:

    Why do you think he woudln’t? (not really kidding)

  76. Houndentenor says:

    Yes, but a long the way a number of Republican judges rule in favor of gay marriage which led to this decision.

  77. Indigo says:

    Scalia’s dissent was weird enough to read on SNL for laughs. Thomas’ comments were embarrassing, it was as if he would have allowed the restoration of slavery without blinking.

  78. 2karmanot says:

    Same here Colin. Trace and I married last June. He died two weeks later. We were together over twenty years.

  79. BeccaM says:

    I wish for your sake he could have, too.

  80. taxicolor says:

    I feel exactly the same way Indigo. How my life would be different if this were the norm then! Societal pressure from family and the world kept me in the closet…..unfulfilled.

  81. Badgerite says:

    Apparently. I notice that the dissenters couldn’t come up with much by way of any reasoned argument. Like pointing to some real harm. Like the woman on TV says, “Equality never hurt anyone.”
    Calling people “hippies” isn’t really much of a come back these days.
    Thomas rambled on about how marriage isn’t about freeeedom but apparently about confinement. etc. Gheesh.

  82. Badgerite says:

    I do give him credit. Lots of it. As do his fellow justices. He wrote the majority opinion. But the math says five votes. Not one.
    Without those other appointments, Justice Kennedy could have done nothing. There are nine votes on the Court. And each one matters.
    So who sits on that Court and who appoints people to that Court matters enormously. There are times when rightness and morality win out in spite of everything. I think this is one of those times. To me, and I think to Justice Kennedy, this should not be a political issue. But the GOP and Bush’s Brain (Rove) have made it one. So votes on the Court matter.
    Even if you have right on your side.

  83. Badgerite says:

    Sometimes…. people do what they do, simply because it is the right thing to do.

  84. Indigo says:

    This ruling represents more change in my lifetime than I could possibly have imagined as a teenager in the 1950s. Wow!

  85. Indigo says:

    I thought so to. Isn’t he also Catholic? The good kind, apparently.

  86. Indigo says:

    Condolences and best wishes, all together.

  87. Colin says:

    From Stonewall to the candle light vigils we walked in when so many of our friends died from AIDS and watched as president Ray-Gun gave next to nothing to help us . It has been a long road. I just wish my husband could have lived to see this day.

  88. dcinsider says:

    In some way, he is here. He is here because you remember him, and his memory lives on.

  89. Hue-Man says:

    Canada had to amend its divorce law (federal jurisdiction) for non-resident lesbian and gay couples. “It arose because of a lesbian couple who tied the knot in Canada and
    wanted a divorce but their marriage wasn’t recognized in their home
    jurisdictions of Florida and London, England.”

    With England, US, and Canada having marriage equality, the rules for lesbians and gays should be the same as for straight couples, eventually. It still requires the couple to initiate the divorce proceedings.

    I’m not trying to be a downer – I’m celebrating for people like Obergefell and Windsor whose lives would have been so different if marriage equality had come sooner.

  90. BeccaM says:

    I honestly did not think I’d live to see this happen in my lifetime. From one state to two, then to an unsustainable hodgepodge of conflicting laws and bans…eventually to 37 states and now this. Marriage equality throughout the country — all 50 states, DC, and the territories.

    Now then, know that the opposition, the forces for intolerance, irrational homophobia and bigotry, will not rest. They’ll look to carve out exemptions, the right to put “No Gays” signs whether virtually or in reality in their places of public commerce. A major victory was won for gay rights today — it will need to be defended.

  91. BeccaM says:

    Beautifully put.

  92. nicho says:

    Many heterosexual couples are not divorced who think they are. I don’t know about other states, but it’s a huge problem in California. Filling out the initial divorce paperwork by yourself isn’t easy, but is doable. Many people think that once you do it, divorce is automatic after six months. It’s not. You have to fill out final paperwork that is horrendously complicated. Many, many people are unaware they even need to do it. Divorce is not a DIY project.

    I used to work in Family Law in the court. I can’t tell you how many people came in to get their “divorce papers” only to find out they weren’t divorced. One poor guy came in because his new bride, her family, and his family were waiting in the County Clerk’s office across the street for them to get married. He needed to divorce papers to get the license. He wasn’t divorced. Ruh-Roh.

    He asked me, “What do I do now?” I wanted to say, “I can call you a cab to the airport.”

  93. Hue-Man says:

    Those Canadian marriage certificates issued over the past decade now are worth the paper they’re printed on throughout the US! I hope those couples who subsequently split up are careful and get divorced – I assume bigamy laws apply to everyone.


  94. 2karmanot says:

    We live 30 miles north of SF, but will send joyous minions to represent all our brothers and sisters who cannot attend.

  95. 2karmanot says:

    “It’s important to think first before making pronouncements about
    someone’s character, even though they may be a Supreme Court justice.” I have given it considerable and conscientious thought: Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Roberts are bigoted Catholic assholes.

  96. 2karmanot says:

    I only wish Trace were here to celebrate. We were together 25 years and married last June, only a few weeks before he died:

  97. Bill_Perdue says:

    Yes. I saw that on the news. They voted to overturn your party’s DOMA and the Republican state DOMAs because of the pressure put on them by the LGBT communities.

  98. FLL says:

    Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Kennedy were nominated by Republicans. Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan were nominated by Democrats. As I mentioned above, Kennedy’s life story is a perfect explanation of why he has authored the majority opinion in four of the major civil-rights cases of our era. Give him some credit for being an independent human being (who does not have to face reelection, by the way) rather than an automaton controlled by popular opinion. If I recall, popular opinion was very anti-gay in 1996 (the year of DOMA), which is the year when Kennedy wrote the opinion in Romer v. Evans, a watershed gay-rights case.

  99. Badgerite says:

    The Court acted to make marriage equality the law of the land because five people on the Court voted for it. Two of those people were appointed by President Barack Obama. It was a 5-4 decision.

  100. Badgerite says:

    I think Justice Kennedy put it so well it cannot be improved on. The Constitution serves a society that is always in change and hopefully that change results in progress. To lock future and current generations into the straight jacket of past, and pointless bigotries is to betray the Constitution at its core. This is the kind of case that lets an upcoming generation know what American can be about. Always striving to extend the ideals of the Constitution to all of the nation’s citizens.

  101. FLL says:

    I believe that Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas were not much influenced by societal forces. (You can certainly see that by reading their dissents.)

  102. Bill_Perdue says:

    The court ruled in our favor because, and only because of the pressure put on them by the LGBT communities, changes in polling results and foreign pressure.

    Elections had nothing to do with it. Obama and the Democrats and the Republicans had nothing to do with it. Courts with a majority of Democrat judges have ruled for us and courts with a majority of Republican judges have ruled for us.

  103. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    My husband is in California. I was so excited that I forgot about the time difference and called him. He began the call by trying to rip my head off. After about 20 seconds, he realized why I was calling and quickly forgave me. He is coming back here late tonight, and we’ll join in the Minneapolis celebration tomorrow.

  104. dcinsider says:

    Pure joy! Hard fought, well won. Thank you GLAD, Mary Bunauto, and the rest of the legal team for the single most important legal decision in the history of gay and lesbian rights.

  105. Badgerite says:

    Brilliant! Brilliant! Simply brilliant! Well done. Never let anyone tell you that who sits on that Court doesn’t matter. It matters. Vote.

  106. FLL says:

    Kennedy’s arguments seem right on target although the language is very polite but clear. I’ll type my thoughts in bold, directly underneath the quote from Kennedy’s opinion.

    (from p. 2) “Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.”

    “The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest.”

    This inconsistency is “now manifest” because the early-twentieth-century criminal and financial penalties directed against same-sex intimacy and, by extension, same-sex marriage, have disappeared. No dialogue can exist on whether Biblical sexual taboos are wrong when, as during much of the twentieth century, such Biblical injunctions were the belief of the overwhelming majority of people. It comes as no surprise, then, that the reasons for marriage equality and freedom from sodomy laws are “now manifest.”

    (from p. 4) …recognizing that new insights and societal understandings can reveal unjustified inequality within fundamental institutions that once passed unnoticed and unchallenged…

    … the “new insights and societal understandings” being that Biblical sexual taboo does not control the judgments of the majority.

  107. Bill_Perdue says:

    We won!

    It’s a huge victory that we fought for and won against the Democrats and Republicans. The victory is ours and ours alone. We waited 9 long years to overturn Bill Clintons DOMA and George Bushes state DOMAs.

    We’ve been waiting about 40 years for the passage of a clean ENDA or a CRA. It’s clear that we need a broad version of ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, cleansed of all the garbage added on by Democrats to appease the cults.

    Even better, we need a robust federal Civil Rights Amendment covering public access, employment and housing for ourselves, people of color, women, trade unionists and immigrant and imported workers that makes it easy to sue and win and provides harsh penalties for offenders.

    We aren’t going to get either from Democrats or Republicans. We’ll have to fight for our rights and create a militant mass movement politically independent from Democrats and Republicans. Democrats only consider ENDA or a CRA when it has no chance of passage and most Republicans oppose it.

  108. nicho says:

    All you people in NYC or San Francisco for Pride this weekend, please dance in the streets for me.

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