The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its much-anticipated ruling, paving the way for nationwide same-sex marriage on Friday, June 26, 2015. Five out of the nine justices ruled in favor of marriage equality. Justice Kennedy wrote and delivered the opinion, advancing equal protections and equality for all LGBT Americans.
The four cases concerning gay marriage (from Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Michigan) put before the Court are Obergefell v. Hodges, Tanco v. Haslam, DeBoer v. Snyder and Bourke v. Beshear. In those four cases, the Court decided two questions: whether the Constitution allows states to prohibit same-sex marriage, and whether states can refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who tied the knot in another state where same-sex marriage is legal.
Given that it was the Friday before Pride weekend, celebrations of the Court’s decision were completely epic. June 26 was already the most significant date in LGBT history. The United States v Windsor decision—striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)—came down from the Court on this date in 2013. Ten years earlier, the Court issued a ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, that states could not implement laws prohibiting same-sex adults from having intimate relations. Along with the historic Stonewall Inn achieving landmark status last Tuesday, by unanimous vote, this past weekend was arguably the most celebratory Pride weekend ever.
A huge rally outside the historic Stonewall Inn will took place on Friday at 6pm, but revelers had already crowded the bar within an hour of the Court's decision. Pride weekend was one for the history books, with record-breaking numbers of people marching in the parade on Sunday and an overall feeling of victory that is hard to put into words. Throughout the country, LGBT people and their allies rejoiced, and our enemies pouted, some more insanely than others. Anti-gay Texas pastor Rick Scarborough made the claim ahead of the ruling that he would set himself on fire if marriage equality became the law of the land. After receiving a large amount of attention following the ruling, he has yet to go through with his promise. In another example, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore recently compared marriage equality to the Holocaust. When asked if he would enforce the Supreme Court's decision, Moore said, "Could I do this if I were in Nuremberg [at the war crimes trials after WWII], say that I was following the orders of the highest authority to kill Jews?"
But all of the crazy aside, love won on Friday, and we can all sleep a little more fitfully knowing that one more giant obstacle against full equality has been overcome!