US Supreme Court rules gay marriage is legal nationwide


“The White House was lit to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to progress and equality, here in America and around the world,” a White House official said. “The pride colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and tonight, these colors celebrate a new chapter in the history of American civil rights.”

Heather Gammon, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In a landmark case, a divided Supreme Court on June 26, 2015 ruled that same-sex marriage is indeed legal nationwide.

A case that has been likened to Brown V. Board of Education, this ruling establishes a new civil right, giving gay rights advocates a long-awaited victory.

The decision affirmed growing public support in the U.S. for gay marriage, with about two-thirds of Americans now in favor.

This ruling expands the rights of same-sex couples around the country. Married same-sex couples will now gain access to the same legal rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples in all fifty states. This includes being recognized on official documents such as birth and death certificates.

In the 5-4 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority with the liberal justices. Each of the four conservative justices individually wrote his/her own vote of dissent.

It has been a long road to equality.

In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that prohibited federal recognition of same-sex marriages, was passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton.

Then in 2004, Massachusetts judges ruled that their state’s constitution allowed for gay marriage. Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. In the following years, some states(mostly southern ones) passed gay marriage bans while others began working towards legalizing same-sex unions. One high-profile ban occurred by referendum in California. Commonly called “Prop 8,” in 2008 courts that had previously allowed same-sex marriage, banned it.

Legal cases continued to arise across the US, cases both for and against gay marriage, until the Supreme Court finally made its ruling.

Obama’s reaction voiced support for this ruling.

Three years after Obama first voiced his support for gay couples’ right to marry, today his administration supported the same sex couples at the Supreme Court.

Speaking at the White House, Obama said “Americans should be very proud,” because small acts of courage “slowly made an entire country realize that love is love.”