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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Nationalizes Same-Sex Marriage Equality

It was just a few days ago that the decision was handed down by Justice Kennedy of United States Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The Supreme Court justices held a decision according to the fourteenth amendment that the states had to recognize same-sex unions and that everyone, regardless of gender and sexual preferences had a right to marry as long as their intent was lawful.

In the flurry of the moment, cheers rang out and rainbow flags were flying, and still are, in support of the decision. In fact, even the White House, for the first time in history, lit up rainbow style on June 26, 2015 to openly commemorate this momentous and widely controversial decision to show their support as well.

The right-wing conservatives are still displeased with the topic at hand, but with the Supreme Court’s ruling there seems little they can do at this point. Rumors have flown with some who hold conservative views calling for impeachment of the justices who supported the overall favorable decision. However, I wouldn’t worry about that anytime soon. There has only ever been one such case of a Supreme Court justice being impeached, and the justice was later acquitted of the offense. With that said, it seems highly unlikely that any impeachment, if it were taken literally and actually moved forward, would truly gain any momentum in the end.

While the majority of the justices agrees on the decision to proceed with same-sex marriage equality across the board, there were a few with dissenting opinions. Such was the case with Justice Thompson, who expressed his concerns over the matter, stating that the decision on same-sex marriage should have been left to the states and not to the Supreme Court as the U.S. Constitution is a constitution of government law and leaves moral issues to the states for decision. He also expressed concerns for the decision made by his colleagues, suggesting that any decision held by the nation’s highest court should hold only to the governing laws regardless of any personal preferences felt by each justice.

Of the remaining dissenting justices, Justice Scalia has, thus far, been the most outspoken against the same-sex marriage decision, calling out his colleagues in sheer mockery for their decision, which he and the minority justices feel is an overreach of the highest court.

Be that as it may, the decision has been made, announced, and celebrated by the LGBT community. In truth, the decision was long overdue. It has been a fight between tooth and nail over the last decade to reach this point. What began at the state level through elections, finished at the highest federal level available.

While there were a few states in the beginning that passed the law initially, some went back and reversed it, while a vast number of others refused to recognize civil same-sex marriages that crossed state lines from one state that accepted the same-sex marriages to the next, which did not. 

There is similar concern among the various denominations of Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, Quaker meeting houses, and such, as some are more willing than others to perform same sex marriages, but here’s the thing to remember. When you are considering a same-sex marriage in a church, keep in mind that this is a religious realm and as such, not all churches will accept gay marriage for religious reasons and due to biblical, or other holy teachings. It truly varies from one church, synagogue, and meeting house to another, as well as one denomination to another. Despite a church’s willingness, or lack thereof, to accept the equality in marriage, the Supreme Court’s decision is still a win for the LGBT community.

There have also been some expressed concerns with children involved in a same-sex family. However, every child needs a loving family, regardless of whether that family consists of a mother and a father, or two mothers, or two fathers. Love is still love in the end.

A part of this movement began with the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed by President Bill Clinton back in 1996, essentially giving individual states the right to refuse to recognize a same-sex marriage. While the traditional view of marriage has been held for centuries as that being between man and woman only, times have changed as have people, and we need to change with it and finally accept what has been there all along.

As a member of the LGBT community, I cannot express my enthusiasm enough that finally, finally the equal right to love and marry need not be restricted to the traditional realm of man and woman only, but now should also include the once forgotten and once taboo relationships found among same-sex couples. After all, love does not simply apply only to one specific group of people, but rather transcends across the lines, and it is truly a great relief to see that has finally gained the recognition that it ultimately deserves.

Photos courtesy of ibtimes.com and demchron

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