On June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples in a historic victory for the LGBT rights movement. In Obergefell vs Hodges, the Justices ruled 5 to 4 that the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated the Due Process and the Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The movement for marriage equality, which is only one part of the LGBT rights movement, began in the 1970s but didn’t begin gaining headlines until 1993 when the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that the prohibition of marriage equality was unconstitutional. This ruling led several states and the federal government legislating that marriage was solely between one man and one woman, including the enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
In recent years, not only did DOMA get repealed, but many states’ bans on marriage equality were ruled unconstitutional and the restriction of gay and lesbian persons in the military, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” was lifted, leading many LGBT people to celebrate this shift in the tide.
Celebrations even took place in Gwinnett County with GGC students sharing their happiness through Pride Alliance, GGC’s LGBT organization. Here’s what the officers of Pride Alliance had to say:
"Ever since I first came to terms with my sexuality, the idea of marriage seemed far off, and more of an idea for later generations. Now, though, that dream is able to become a reality, and it's comforting to know that marriage is available to me one day should I choose it," Morgan Woody said.
"It took me a long time to accept myself as gay and part of that was because I knew it would be long time, if ever, before I could have the right to marry someone I love. The Supreme Court ruling has provided a significant step towards equal rights for the gay community," Nehemiah Hester said.
“I'm excited that the day has finally come that all families are equal in the eyes of the law. However, we can't forget the many struggles still faced by members of the LGBTQ community. Almost half of all homeless youth are LGBTQ. In almost 30 states it's still legal to be fired for being LGBTQ. A victory has been won. A war yet remains,” Jory Alexander said.
While many LGBTQ people and their heterosexual allies remain ecstatic that progress has been made, many remain vigilant that there’s still a long road ahead for complete equality not only for LGBTQ people, but for people of color and women, as social issues are severely intersectional.
Social conservatives were disappointed by the Supreme Court ruling and many still ask their representative to do something on this issue. It remains to be seen whether their efforts will be fruitful.
What are your thoughts on marriage equality? How does the ruling impact you personally? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“A same-sex marriage supporter near the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.”
Photo Credit : Drew Angerer /Getty Images