Supreme Court Rules in Favor of
Same-Sex Marriage

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry. The court ruled 5–4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, same-sex marriage will technically become legal in all 50 states.

According to a Reuters report, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing on behalf of the court, said that the hope of gay people intending to marry “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.”

Editor’s note: Just yesterday, AGRM’s Government Liaison Rhett Butler commented in an AGRM DC Briefing on this potential ruling and other rulings of the Court. AGRM will be providing updates from Rhett on how this ruling could affect rescue missions and their ministries.

Kennedy, a conservative who often casts the deciding vote in close cases, was joined in the majority by the court’s four liberal justices. In a dissenting opinion, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia said the decision shows the court is a “threat to American democracy.” The ruling “says that my ruler and the ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court,” Scalia said.

Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts also read a summary of his dissenting opinion from the bench.

The Supreme Court’s ruling came in a consolidated case pulling together challenges filed by same-sex couples to same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

Same-sex marriage was legal in 36 states and Washington, D.C. In a 37th, Alabama, a federal court struck down the gay-marriage ban but the state supreme court has stopped local officials from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

Opponents say same-sex marriage legality should be decided by states, not judges.


Photo: Supreme Court // DC via photopin (license)