Supreme Court says same-sex couples have right to marry in all 50 states

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has made gay marriage legal in all 50 states.

Carlos McKnight of Washington, waves a flag in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015. A major opinion on gay marriage is among the remaining to be released before the term ends at the end of June. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – By a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed the sixth circuit’s decision and ends bans against same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage now is legal in all 50 states.

Prior to the ruling, same-sex marriage still was illegal in 13 states.

Actions of state and local official will determine how quickly gay couples can marry, though many have prepared for this ruling, setting up protocols to handle a surge of new marriage applicants.

Read the full Supreme Court decision below. APP USERS | Tap here to view the document

“What can happen and should happen is that states should start issuing marriage licenses almost immediately,” James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT and AIDS Project, told Vox Media. “Once the Supreme Court rules, it’s the law of the land.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion on the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito each wrote dissents.

Kennedy said in his opinion: “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful real, to define and express their identity. … The ancient origins of marriage confirm its centrality, but it has not stood in isolation from developments in law and society. The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. That institution – even as confined to opposite-sex relations – has evolved over time.”

President Obama tweeted shortly after the ruling: “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”

Read the full Supreme Court decision below. APP USERS | Tap here to view the document

SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s