In a 5-4 ruling, the court made it legal for all couples to marry regardless of their sex. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion and beautifully captured the significance of the decision.
"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were," Kennedy wrote. "As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death."
He continued: "It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope 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."
While 36 states already permit gay couples to marry, this ruling means the other 14 must as well. Now anyone in the "land of the free" is free to marry whomever he or she loves.
What an incredible day for human rights. What an incredible day for love.
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