Robby Poffenberger | Assistant News Editor | [email protected]
Image credit: Gabi Campbell | Art Director | @gabicampbellphotos
On June 26, gay rights activists in the U.S. scored a historic victory.
The Supreme Court of the United States voted to allow same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The margin was narrow–five justices made up the majority while four dissented–but the result is the same, being that all 13 states that still ban gay marriage can no longer do so under federal law.
In the 21-page ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote on behalf of the majority, argued that marriage is a high institution that is worthy of pursuit by all.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family,” Kennedy wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people becoming something greater than they once were.”
The ruling also said that marriage is a union that should not be denied to citizens granted rights by the U.S. Constitution
“They (seekers of same-sex marriage) ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right,” Kennedy wrote.
The Justices who dissented were quick to speak out about their reasons for a “no” vote.
“If you are among the many Americans who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. “Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
Here in Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was quick to respond with a reaffirmation of their stance opposing same-sex marriage.
According to an official church statement, “The Court’s decision does not alter the Lord’s doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God.While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice.”
In recent months, the Supreme Court has denied requests by individual states to temporarily halt gay marriage until a federal decision could be made.
Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas still have laws that disallow same-sex marriage. Despite legal action to appeal, Utah has allowed those unions since 2013.
President Barack Obama was quick to speak out in support of the ruling.
“This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.Today we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect,” said Obama in a press conference
He preceded his statement to the press with a slew of tweets, each ending with the hashtag #lovewins.