By Juma Sei
WANT Original Content
WANT takes a closer look at the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage throughout the country.
July 4th, 1776 marks the freedom of America from the British. December 6th, 1865 marks the abolishment of slavery throughout our nation. Each of these dates represents a step in American history. In the case of the fourth, a step for independence and in the case of the sixth, a step for racial equality.
Justice Anthony Kennedy was quoted saying, “No union is more profound than marriage… two people become something greater than they once were.” On June 26th, 2015, yet another step was made in the equality of this union.
In a close five-four verdict, the Supreme Court has ruled the banning of same-sex marriage as unconstitutionally, nationally legalizing the consortium of gay and lesbian couples and finally allowing them to become the “something greater” Justice Kennedy references (if they so please of course).
The legalization of same-sex marriage has without a doubt been an uphill battle. Up until May 17th of 2004 same-sex couples were not legally aloud to consummate their love in this way. It was only in this year that the Bay State’s judicial council became the first in American history to rule that its constitution gave gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. Since then, the fight for marriage equality has only grown, and up until June 25th of this year it had spread to an entirety of 36 different states and the District of Columbia.
Being a known advocate for gay rights, president Barack Obama has referenced this step as, “a victory for America,” one that will strengthen communities across the nation by offering dignity and equal status to same-sex couples. In October of 2011 Obama said the following at the Human Rights Campaign national, “Every single American — gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It’s a pretty simple proposition.” With these words, Obama breaks down the simplicity of the gay rights movement: we are all Americans thus we deserve the same things: the right to speak freely, the right to live our lives, and the right to choose whom we share that life with.
For the first time in American history the latter of these options has been fulfilled. People are legally aloud to love and marry whomever they please and that is something beautiful.
Photo Credit: NY Times