WASHINGTON, DC – Love was in the air, literally, as supporters of same-sex marriages celebrated the US Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right throughout the country, regardless of state laws that say otherwise.
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that “no union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family.”
In his dissenting opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that “the majority’s opinion is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the constitution or this court’s precedent.”
Until now, 13 states, including Texas, banned same-sex marriages. And federal courts were divided over whether those states had to allow same-sex marriages and recognize them from other states.
Gov. Greg Abbott was not happy with the high court’s decision, saying in a statement that despite the ruling he will “continue to defend the religious liberties of all Texans, including those whose conscience dictates that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman.”
He also released a memo instructing the heads of all state agencies not to take action against any employees who refuse to follow the law because of religious beliefs.
This includes granting or denying benefits, managing employees, contracts, licenses, permits, and the enforcement of state laws and regulations.
Mayor Annise Parker, who had to go to California last year to marry her long-time partner Kathy Hubbard, released a statement saying “marriage is about love, commitment, and family. Couples who make that commitment deserve to be respected under the law.”
The court’s ruling comes exactly two years to the day that the Supremes struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and said same-sex marriages deserve equal dignity and respect under the law.
After today, they are now equal under the law. Equal dignity and respect may be harder to achieve.