In a 5-4 court decision announced on Friday, June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage as a guaranteed right nationwide.
The majority opinion for Obergefell v. Hodges—a case that involved groups of same-sex couples across several states challenging the constitutional laws banning same-sex marriages—was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and states that same-sex couples who, “ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law,” should be granted the constitutional right to marry.
“America will never forget this day, and neither will people all across the world who know the meaning of love and compassion,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “June 26, 2015, will forever be memorialized as a pivotal moment in the history of our nation – the day the Supreme Court affirmed our core values of love, equality, and justice, rejected ignorance and malice, and appealed to the humanity in us all.”
“When we passed the Marriage Equality Act in 2011, New York sent a message to the nation that it was time to end one of society’s greatest inequities, and I am thrilled to see the Court join us on the right side of history,” added Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Dividing people into first and second-class citizens is not only wrong, it runs contrary to who we are as a nation.”
Borough President Eric Adams also chimed in, calling it a win for love.
“Today, every person in this country can pursue a lifetime of happiness with the person to whom they love and commit,” he said. “There is no more gay marriage or straight marriage in America. There is just marriage.”
The decision was made by five of the court’s liberal judges, Kennedy, along with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justices with dissenting opinions included Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.
While many are celebrating and praising the decision throughout the country, Roberts, who wrote one of four dissents in the case, argued that the issue should not have been decided on by the Supreme Court, but rather left to the states.
“If you are among the many Americans – of whatever sexual orientation – who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision,” Roberts wrote. “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”