A profound change in American life has occurred today, June 26, 2015. Same-sex marriage has been deemed legal nationwide by the Supreme Court.
In a landmark opinion, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, handing gay rights advocates their biggest victory yet. The 5-4 ruling had Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority, with the four liberal justices. Each of the four conservative justices wrote their own dissent.
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“Gay and lesbian people are equal,” Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. told the justices at the oral arguments earlier this year. “It is simply untenable—untenable—to suggest that they can be denied the right of equal participation in an institution of marriage, or that they can be required to wait until the majority decides that it is ready to treat gay and lesbian people as equals.
This historic victory for gay rights marks the biggest moment in civil rights since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And it’s amazing to see how far the movement has come in such a relatively short amount of time.
The country’s first legally recognized same-sex marriages took place just 11 years ago, the result of a Massachusetts state supreme court decision. Now, more than 70 percent of Americans live in states where same-sex couples are allowed to marry, according to estimates.
Celebrate, America! #LoveWins
Check out some of the exciting reactions on Twitter!
Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins
— President Obama (@POTUS) June 26, 2015
— Jill Biden (@JillBidenVeep) June 26, 2015
Proud to celebrate a historic victory for marriage equality—& the courage & determination of LGBT Americans who made it possible. -H — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 26, 2015
— GLAAD (@glaad) June 26, 2015
— Raven-Symonè (@ravensymone) June 26, 2015
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) June 26, 2015
Photo: Bill Clark / Getty Images