Same-Sex Marriage Now Legally Binding in all 50 United States
After years and years of debate on the issue of same-sex marriage, the United States Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 vote last Friday that the Constitution of the United States guarantees the right to marriage to same-sex couples. According to a Washington Post survey from last week, 6 out of 10 Americans support same-sex marriage. Will that number increase post the landmark ruling for Constitutionally supported gay marriage in all 50 states?
“No longer may this liberty be denied, … No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.” - Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy stands above in the crowd as a proponent of gay rights for the past decade. Since 1996, he has authored every major decision affirming the rights of gays and lesbians. What makes this especially poignant is that Justice Kennedy was initially appointed by Republican Ronald Reagan and typically sits along the conservative edge of most decisions. However his open-minded dealings with the issue of gay rights have been both notable and admirable.
Read the New York Times article, Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide and click through the slideshow at the top of the page. Follow up with Landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizes gay marriage nationwide and also watch the video clip. Read the Boston Globe article State where gay marriage started celebrates ruling. Finally read the Washington Post’s article, Supreme Court rules gay couples nationwide have a right to marry (and watch the video clip).
Now go back and look at an overview of the history of the drawn-out battle to win gay rights for marriage - The changing landscape of same-sex marriage (Washington Post). Then click over and read through the Gay Marriage Timeline: From Defense of Marriage Act, to San Francisco weddings to U.S. Supreme Court from the San Jose Mercury News.
People around the nation celebrated this weekend. Read the USA Today article Gay-marriage plaintiff celebrates at Pride parade. Pride parades marched in cities all over the country. Watch the video featuring Sir Ian McKellen at USA Today’s Pride parades supercharged by court ruling on marriage (read the article below as well).
Of course this decision doesn’t come with a fair bout of controversy and push-back. The New York Times asks Was This the Right Way to Legalize Gay Marriage? With a vote of 5-4, there were four justices against the decision to legalize gay marriage. Read Why Four Justices Were Against the Supreme Court's Huge Gay-Marriage Decision (National Journal). The Huffington Post will allow you to Meet The People Trying To Seize The 'Last, Best Opportunity' To Stop Gay Marriage. The Washington Post shared Opponents divided on how — or whether — to resist justices’ ruling.So what are the repercussions of this? US same-sex marriage ruling likely to influence other countries as pace of change quickens according to the U.S. News and World Report article. The Atlantic asks How Will the U.S. Supreme Court's Same-Sex-Marriage Decision Affect Religious Liberty? Bloomberg reports that the Gay-Marriage Ruling Puts Some Health Benefits at Risk.
There will surly be continued discussion and debate regarding same-sex marriage. Certainly a great deal of good comes from this but unintended consequences certainly lurk on the sidelines. The rest of the world is also watching as the U.S. goes through this process as a national community. As you read the local news this week, follow the headlines to learn more about how various groups are responding and the implications that are on the horizon for this major Constitutional change. Make a list of reasons that either support or are against this new law and provide reasons for your arguments.