Personally, I won't be able to stop jumping up and down for the rest of the day. As someone who recently got engaged, this news couldn't make me happier. According to NBC, this "landmark ruling" is the biggest thing to happen to matrimonial law since the ban on interracial marriage was lifted 50 years ago. I can't think of a better reason to grab all your friends, gay and straight alike, and celebrate love like it's 1969.
Even though I'm in a heterosexual relationship, this decision affected me significantly, and not just because I have a number of gay friends. I grew up going to Provincetown with my family, which many regard as the gay capital of America. The gay community was always very present up there, and since Massachusetts was one of the first states to legalize gay marriage, it has only grown stronger. A huge part of why the place is so magical is because of the overwhelming feeling of love and acceptance that exists there. It's why my fiancé proposed to me on its beach, and why we're getting married there next September.
I can only hope that this nationwide decision will encourage other like-minded communities to flourish across the country in a way they never could before. Love between two people is one of the most powerful things, and this monumental proclamation means there will be more of it everywhere. It's a rare thing to get to say, especially in relation to the judicial court, but today, love really does win.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of the written nationwide marriage ruling, expressed it succinctly. "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.
"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."
These are perhaps the most eloquent and moving words I've ever read from our government. Today is the first day in a long while that I've felt proud to be an American.
While it may look like a legal victory more than anything else, the American people are wholly responsible for this win. According to The New York Times, the overall public opinion on same-sex marriage started changing dramatically in just the last few years.
Now, the majority of Americans are in favor of it. Without that overwhelming popular support, this decision would likely not have gone this way.
The Supreme Court was quite methodical in how it brought it to fruition. During the last few months of state-level marriage ban lifts, it refused to get involved on several related appeals. From the outside eye, it might've looked like it was turning its back on the issue, but in fact it was simply giving the state courts the freedom to act independently.
When the court finally swooped in with today's ruling, it was riding atop the wave of more than two-thirds of the nation's state-level decisions. It is a shining example of what democracy can do when it works. The people spoke first, the courts followed, and the government sanctioned it: Marriage is a right that should belong to everyone, and now, finally, it does.
"America should be very proud." —President Obama #LoveWins— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 26, 2015
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