Same-Sex marriage now legal in all 50 States

Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision makes marriage Constitutional right

The Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriages in all 50 states Friday, creating cheers among members of the LGBTQ community who have battled for marriage equality for decades.

The landmark 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges declared same-sex marriage to be a Constitutional right.

“Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Also ruling in the majority were justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer.

The dissents of Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas were written separately, and the reasonings of the group varied.

Roberts thought the court overstepped its boundaries.

For those who praise this decision, it is a lesson in faith in the American system of government. For those who disagree, it is a lesson in tolerance. ”

— John Littmann

“Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise ‘neither force nor will but merely judgment,’ Roberts wrote. “If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision…but do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.

“This is 21st century democracy,” government teacher John Littmann said. “If one embraces America, then the decisions of the United States Supreme Court must be accepted, or at the very least tolerated until enlightened by future decisions. For those who praise this decision, it is a lesson in faith in the American system of government. For those who disagree, it is a lesson in tolerance.”

Senior Ahja Cherry, who is an advocate and member of the LBGTQ community, confirmed the message of equality and the struggle many people faced prior to the final resolution.

Not only does the decision enforce the recognition of same sex marriages, but that those couples are now provided the same benefits as heterosexual couples.

“The ruling is one of the best things that has happened to the United States in a long time,” Cherry said. “It’s a major step to equality, and it’s a comfort to know that no matter who I or anyone else loves, the same chance will be given to get a happily ever after. It recognizes that the base of marriage is just two people who love each other and want to commit.”

Although America has become a more open-minded nation, many students still remain adamant about their conservative beliefs and firmly oppose the new ruling.

“Well, I’m a Christian, so I’m just going to tell it how it is,” senior Kaylyn Coleman said. “God created marriage for one man and one woman. He didn’t want it between the same sex or else that’s how he would have created it in the beginning. I’m against gay marriage because it is a sin that a lot of people struggle with.”

However, Coleman said “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

“Gay marriage is a sin but so is lying, stealing and so on, but God sees sin as equal. Humans seem to weigh different sins,” Coleman said. “The Bible commands me as a follower of Christ to love one another as he has loved us. I strongly disagree on this matter, but my job isn’t to judge but to show love and spread the Gospel.”

Despite differences in views and ideas between supporters and those who oppose the Supreme Court’s ruling, senior Bailey Gravitt anticipates respect to be a common goal both sides can agree upon.

“To each his own, man.’ I always say that,” Gravitt said. “I love that we don’t all have the same opinion in this world. I love that we live in a world where we don’t all look the same, feel the same, think the same; it makes us unique. Anyone who doesn’t agree I totally respect their opinion. They have the right to their opinion completely. All I ask is that they respect mine as well.”

Twitter created a new hashtag trend #LoveWins to celebrate the support for LGBTQ communities, and now many who do not support the equality law due to religious views have derived their own trend of #GodWins.

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Many, like junior Lauren Carter, believe the nation should focus on the values
that it was founded on rather than stray from a conservative path.

“I do not agree with [the Supreme Court’s decision, and I do believe that homosexuality is a sin,” Carter said. “What does affect me is when someone’s moral wrong is made into a civil right. This country use to rely fully on God. Now we are turning away from what He says is right. I don’t want to know what will happen when we push it too far and God is no longer helping lead our country.”

Even without full support in the local community, the LBGTQ community and its defenders are grateful for the milestone the Supreme Court created.

“I know that everyone is going to have a different opinion on the matter, but I feel like they should just respect it,” Texas High alumni Patrick Watson said. “[The ruling] definitely gives me something to look forward to in the future, knowing that I can get married like everyone else. I figured it would eventually happen in time. I was very proud for the LGBTQ community when I found out. This is such a major breakthrough.”