Marriage equality has long been an issue in the U.S. Many states have made same-sex marriage legal, especially within the last few years, but many states have also been steadfast in their “traditional” views of marriage. Up until now, marriage in some areas has been legally defined as “the union of one man and one woman.” (SOURCE) Since the issue has been contested for a long time, many citizens brought their cases to the Supreme Court, explaining that they believed their relationships were just as valid as any heterosexual relationship. This opened some eyes to the importance of this issue and the Supreme Court eventually agreed to vote on whether or not the civil liberty of marriage would be granted to all individuals (as opposed to the decision by popular vote). Today, in a momentous victory, the court ruled in favor of equal rights in a 5-4 verdict. Both liberal and conservative justices wrote for their side of the argument. Each side was fervent in their attempts, but those on the side of equality won today. This decision could open doors to a new era of social justice. Anthony Kennedy, one of the liberal court justices, stated that he believed all people deserve “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.” (SOURCE) He went on to say that the Constitution grants equality for all people, and marriage falls under that fundamental right. Many conservative justices claimed that this issue did not hold any real importance to them and that the decision had “nothing to do with the Constitution.” (SOURCE) It is possible that the contradictory and inconsistent views of the conservative side of this debate may have been part of the reason they were not able to win this particular battle.
The U.S. is the 21st country to allow same-sex marriage nationwide. So while this is a huge step forward, we are still behind in the scheme of world-wide gay rights. The first state to allow gay marriage was Massachusetts, in 2004, which was long after the beginning of the gay rights movement. It has taken 11 years for the rest of the country to come around, but many people thought they would never see it happen in their lifetimes, so it is a happy surprise that this case was arbitrated in this manner. Many people celebrated outside the Supreme Court by singing, waving Pride flags, and cheering positive words. President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other notable public figures also voiced their support of the court’s decision. Obama stated his belief that even small victories in this area will “slowly make an entire country realize that love is love.” (SOURCE) However, some Republican politicians were not so supportive. 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush claimed that the ruling was discriminatory because it did not allow for “religious freedom,” (SOURCE) since his religion tells him it is wrong to be a homosexual. Some Republicans took a page out of Elsa’s book and just said they were going to “let it go.” Some of the people saying hateful things on social media mentioned that since this country no longer upholds values they agree with they were just going to move to Canada. Those people will be very disappointed when they find out that Canada legalized same-sex marriage nationwide almost a decade ago.
About two-thirds of the country is currently in favor of marriage equality. This statistic is represented in this Supreme Court ruling, and the decision has been mostly celebrated across social media platforms, websites, such as this, and throughout circles of friends and family. All states must now legally recognize gay couples and straight couples as equals under the law. Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in the U.S. and they will be given the same rights that everyone else gets in a legal marriage. Many couples have been fighting for years to be given the right to have their relationship recognized under the law, and to be legally joined to the person they love. This ruling is a step towards a better future, and hopefully other countries will follow suit after seeing the success and public support of this court decision.