Washington, D.C. – The Supreme Court has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. The Supreme Court ruling that grants same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide comes on a date with legal significance.
Two previous rulings by the high court also came on June 26. Both were also written by Justice Anthony Kennedy –
In 2003, the court issued its ruling in the case Lawrence versus Texas, striking down state laws that made gay sex a crime.
And on the same date in 2013, it struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law in the case U.S. versus Windsor.
The Supreme Court has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.
Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court’s ruling on Friday means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
The outcome is the culmination of two decades of Supreme Court litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court’s previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996.
Reactions to SCOTUS ruling:
Scott Walker issued the following statement on his Facebook page:
I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake. Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges ‘has been with us for millennia.’ In 2006 I, like millions of Americans, voted to amend our state constitution to protect the institution of marriage from exactly this type of judicial activism. The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made, and as we have seen repeatedly over the last few days, we will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our land without injecting their own political agendas. As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.
Recognizing that our Founders made our Constitution difficult to amend, I am reminded that it was first amended to protect our ‘First Freedom’ – the free exercise of religion. The First Amendment does not simply protect a narrow ‘right to worship,’ but provides broad protection to individuals and institutions to worship and act in accordance with their religious beliefs. In fact, the Wisconsin constitution explicitly protects the rights of conscience of our citizens. I can assure all Wisconsinites concerned about the impact of today’s decision that your conscience rights will be protected, and the government will not coerce you to act against your religious beliefs.
I call on the president and all governors to join me in reassuring millions of Americans that the government will not force them to participate in activities that violate their deeply held religious beliefs. No one wants to live in a country where the government coerces people to act in opposition to their conscience. We will continue to fight for the freedoms of all Americans.
Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to redefine the institution of marriage:
Rick Santorum said: “Today, five unelected justices decided to redefine the foundational unit that binds together our society without public debate or input. Now is the people’s opportunity respond because the future of the institution of marriage is too important to not have a public debate. The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott to Plessy, the Court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices.”
“But leaders don’t accept bad decisions that they believe harm the country, they have the courage of their convictions and lead the country down the better path. Marriage, the family and our children are too central to a healthy society to not fight for what is best. I realized that fact early on and that is why I lead the charge against some in my own party in 2004 to ensure the Federal Marriage Amendment received a vote and I continue to stand for marriage, for families, for freedom,” continued Santorum.
“As President, I will be committed to using the bully pulpit of the White House to lead a national discussion on the importance to our economy and our culture of mothers and fathers entering into healthy marriages so that every child is given their birthright- to be raised by their mother and father in a stable, loving home. I will stand for the preservation of religious liberty and conscience, to believe what you are called to believe free from persecution. And I will ensure that the people will have a voice in decisions that impact the rock upon which our civilization is built,” Santorum concluded.
Hillary Clinton released the following statement on the SCOTUS ruling:
Today is one of those days we’ll tell our grandchildren about. Marriage equality is now the law in all 50 states.
From Stonewall to today’s decision, the courage and determination of the LGBT community has changed hearts, minds, and laws. Generations of advocates and activists sacrificed so much for this victory.
This is our country at its best: inclusive, open, and striving towards true equality.
But the struggle for LGBT rights doesn’t end with this triumph. Our work is not finished until every American can not only marry, but live, work, pray, learn, and raise a family free from discrimination and prejudice.
Gov. Rick Perry issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges:
“I am disappointed the Supreme Court today chose to change the centuries old definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. I’m a firm believer in traditional marriage, and I also believe the 10th Amendment leaves it to each state to decide this issue. I fundamentally disagree with the court rewriting the law and assaulting the 10th Amendment. Our founding fathers did not intend for the judicial branch to legislate from the bench, and as president, I would appoint strict Constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written.”