UPDATED: Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning that all 50 states should recognize same-sex marriage.
The 5-4 decision was a reflection of the changing public opinion, according to other news reports.
The court ruled that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges and three related cases.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion and he was joined by Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg and Breyer, leaving Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas dissenting.
Kennedy’s opinion was based on equality granted be the Constitution.
“They ask for equality in the eyes of the law,” Kennedy said. “The Constitution grants them that right.”
Roberts disagreed with the Kennedy’s decision, saying it has “nothing to do with the Constitution.”
“If you are among the many Americans- of whatever sexual orientation- who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all mean’s celebrate today’s decision,” Roberts said. “Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
President Barack Obama congratulated the lead plaintiff outside the court after the ruling.
“I just wanted to say congratulations,” Obama said. “Your leadership has changed the country.”
“Americans should be very proud,” Obama said later in the White House.
Before the ruling, 36 states allowed same-sex marriage. The ruling overturned the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously held that states had a right to choose whether or not to allow same-sex marriage.
Alabama-based U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade specifically applied today’s ruling to Alabama’s 68 probate judges May 21. Granade made the initial ruling to allow same-sex marriage in Alabama Jan. 23 that has been debated throughout the state ever since.
The ruling affirmed two questions: could state ban same-sex marriage, and did states have to recognize lawful marriages performed outside the state? Granade’s order made the ruling take effect immediately in Alabama’s probate courts, granting full marriage benefits to all legally married couples.