Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage: Gay, Lesbian Couples Can Now Wed Nationwide

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 8:16 AM

Marriage equality wins, guys.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning against a handful of state same-sex marriage bans—meaning gay and lesbian couples nationwide are now free to wed.

The decision focused on four lawsuits from couples in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, but it affects all other states where prohibitions were still in place. (Read the ruling, here.)

The High Court's 5-4 decision says the bans violate due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution, according to a press release from the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Tucson's Democratic state Rep Victoria Steele had these nice words to say:
I am elated with the Supreme Court decision today and believe it brings us much closer to achieving true equality. This victory builds on the momentum of the equality movement, as community members and allies work to ensure that LGBTQ people receive equal protection across the board.

While this is a momentous accomplishment, our work is not done. Next we must turn our attention to employment and housing issues. In many places in our state, it is still legal to fire someone for being gay. It is still legal to discriminate against people based on who they are and whom they love. And that needs to change. Our fight is not over until we have full, legal equality for all Americans.
U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva sent out this statement:
Today, the Supreme Court enshrined in law what so many of us have known in our hearts: that the freedom to marry belongs to every American, no matter who they love or where they live. This is a tremendous victory for our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community, and for the institution of marriage in our country. From this day forward, the protections and benefits afforded through marriage will finally extend to every individual in this nation.

I am thrilled for every couple whose love is validated at long last by this decision. But this is far from the end of the fight for equality. In too many states, it is still legal to fire or deny housing to Americans based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Our job is not done until all people are treated as equals, regardless of who they are or who they love.

The court felt same-sex couples have the right to "equal dignity in the eyes of the law," the ACLU says.

The group is calling this a landmark of current civil rights movements. After this success, they plan to turn to the roughly 30 states, among them Arizona, that do not have any statewide LGBT anti-discrimination laws. 

The very-conservative Center for Arizona Policy isn't celebrating, as expected. They issued this statement, calling the decision "tragic:"
Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is historically tragic. The High Court has disregarded the democratic process by stripping all Americans of their ability to debate and decide marriage policy.

What’s more, by throwing out the time-tested definition of marriage as only the union of one man and one woman, the Court has said that children don’t deserve the best opportunity to be raised by their mom and dad.

This isn’t the first time the Supreme Court has overstepped its role, and just like before, this will not be the final word on this issue. The U.S. Constitution is absolutely silent on the definition of marriage which makes it all the more egregious for 5 justices to brush aside the votes of tens of millions of voters throughout the country.

The U.S. Supreme Court can never change the fundamental truth that the lifelong union of one man and one woman is at the foundation of a strong state and nation. Center for Arizona Policy is committed to seeing this essential union strengthened and reaffirmed to secure a better future for generations to come.
Arizona's same-sex marriage ban was struck down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in October.

Watch President Obama's speech from earlier this morning. Courtesy of PBS' News Hour. 

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