In a historic 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right, reports the Washington Post.
"The court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. He was joined in the opinion by the court’s liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.
Before the ruling today, gay couples could marry in 37 states in addition to Washington, D.C. Now, states must recognize same-sex unions.
The Post has more:
The court’s action marks the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation’s jurisprudence. Advocates called it the most pressing civil rights issue of modern times, while critics said the courts had sent the country into uncharted territory by changing the traditional definition of marriage.
Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. made the case that withholding marriage violates equal-protection guarantees at the court's oral arguments in April:
“In a world in which gay and lesbian couples live openly as our neighbors, they raise their children side by side with the rest of us, they contribute fully as members of the community ... it is simply untenable — untenable — to suggest that they can be denied the right of equal participation in an institution of marriage, or that they can be required to wait until the majority decides that it is ready to treat gay and lesbian people as equals," he said.
Finally, America is living up to its claim of being the "land of the free!"
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