SCOTUS Rules Gay Marriage Legal in All States
In a five to four decision, Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court said same-sex couples can marry nationwide.
Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the majority opinion of the court which invoked the 14th amendment of the Constitution. In the written opinion, Kennedy equated the freedom to marry to choices concerning contraception, family relationships, procreation and childrearing, all of which are protected by the Constitution.
“He believes states should have the right to determine their own laws regarding marriage,” says Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s spokesman Marty Carpenter. He says the governor believes the court has usurped state authority and overruled the voice of the people of Utah. Utah voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2004 to ban same-sex marriage.
“Clearly the majority of justices disagree and their decision provides finality with respect to the law,” Carpenter says.
Derek Kitchen disagrees with Herbert.
“State’s rights don’t trump individual rights. And that’s something the Supreme Court also believes,” he says.
Kitchen is one of the plaintiff’s in the case that took down Utah’s gay marriage ban. His husband MoudiSbeity says with today’s decision, the LGBT activist community can begin to focus energy on human rights abuses for LGBT people on a global scale.
“And I think this is going to generate a new sense of hope for LGBT people across the world who live in countries where they cannot even be open and out about who they are,” Sbeity says.
The U.S. is the 21st country to allow same-sex marriage.
Prior to today’s decision, gay marriage was banned in more than a dozen states.