“Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. In turn, those who believe allowing same-sex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate. The Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex.” — Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing the majority opinion in Obergefell v Hodges, June 26, 2015
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 5 – 4 decision found that, under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, individual states did not have the right to bar same-sex couples from marrying. The decision, while never a certainty, was not totally unexpected. The court had already effectively struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The core issue in these cases is the religious view that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and certainly from the perspective of most religions that is true – and churches that do not support marriage equality certainly should not be, and are not, required to officiate at wedding ceremonies. Marriage, however, predates most religions, and even Biblically, it can be argued that marriage has certainly NOT always been clearly defined as one man/one woman.
Personally, I think that life is hard enough – when you find love with another, you should be able to celebrate it with marriage, if that is what you want or need to do (need is not overblown – without marriage, many couples had insurance, healthcare, inheritance, and other issues to contend with).
All in all, this was a good day for equal rights.
Omnia vincit amor.