The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to legally marry across all 50 states. The decision was made in an historic 5 to 4 ruling.
The Court determined that the U.S. Constitution does require states to allow same-sex marriages, striking down existing bans in the 14 states that have yet to embrace marriage equality.
After months of speculation, the justices ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges a case in which a dozen couples who challenged same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee – the only states whose bans on marriage between gay and lesbian couples had been sustained by a federal appeals court.
Following the ruling, SCOTUS made their announcement with this brilliantly succinct tweet:
While President Obama tweeted a message announcing the decision, using the hashtag "LoveWins":
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has released the following statement following the landmark announcement:
“Today, the Supreme Court unequivocally affirmed that equal justice under the law means marriage equality for LGBT Americans. This decision is about creating a future where loving, committed families are able to live with dignity. This is about freedom. This is about love. This is transformative, not only for LGBT families, but for America.
“Shamefully, generations of LGBT Americans have been forced to live the indignity of invisibility, having been denied the comfort and legal benefits of marriage. Finally, every loving American – regardless of their race or where they live, regardless of their gender or gender identity – has the right to marry the person they love. This decision is a declaration of our deepest held values and our hope for a better America.
“On this monumental day, my thoughts are with Phyllis Lyon and the late Del Martin who shared their lives together for decades. They were an inspiration to so many of us. For them and other older LGBT couples, for LGBT workers striving to provide for their families, for LGBT youth who are now free to imagine growing up, falling in love, and getting married, this is an historic, transformative moment. Triumphantly, America just moved closer to fulfilling its promise of equality.
“We must continue the fight for the full protections that are long overdue for LGBT Americans, many of whom can still be fired for who they are and who they love. No American should ever lose their job, their home, or live in fear because of their sexual orientation or gender identity – and that’s why Congress must now take up a comprehensive LGBT civil rights bill. Our work continues, but today we take deep pride in this hard fought, long sought victory for justice in our country.”