Today, Friday June 26, history has been made in the United States of America.
The term “gay marriage” will now be known as simply marriage after the Supreme Court has made it legal for same sex-couples to wed in all 50 states.
The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, handing a historic triumph to the American gay rights movement.
The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing on behalf of the court, said that the hope of gay people intending to marry “is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Kennedy, a conservative who often casts the deciding vote in close cases, was joined in the majority by the court’s four liberal justices.
Kennedy, appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1988, has now authored all four of the Supreme Court’s major gay rights rulings, with the first coming in 1996. As with his 2013 opinion when the court struck down a federal law that denied benefits to same-sex couples, Kennedy stressed the dignity of marriage.
Kennedy said the hope of gay people intending to marry “is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
“Without the recognition, stability and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” Kennedy wrote.
All across the country, people are celebrating, including high-profile faces. Take a look at some of their reactions in the gallery below, starting with these two individuals who know a thing or two about the White House.
Photo: White House YouTube