A divided Supreme Court said on Friday that the Constitution’s 14th Amendment recognizes a national right to same-sex marriage.
Link: Read The Opinion
“The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State,” said Kennedy.
“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. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. 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,” Kennedy concluded.
“This Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise “neither force nor will but merely judgment,” he said.
Fourteen same-sex couples and two men whose same-sex partners are now deceased challenged state laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, only. These couples argued that the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment require states to recognize same sex marriages.
Recent Stories on Constitution Daily