WASHINGTON, DC. (NEWS 1130) – The US Supreme Court has declared that same-sex couples have the right to marry anywhere in the United States. Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
The court’s ruling, by a margin of 5-4, means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
“Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else,” says US President Barack Obama.
The outcome is the culmination of two decades of Supreme Court litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court’s previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996.
Dara Parker with Vancouver’s LGBTQ advocacy group QMUNITY says the ruling is overwhelming. “It’s fabulous. This is a historic moment for the US but also the world because this ruling means that they will recognize same-sex marriage that has been acknowledged in other countries as well.”
“Love wins. This is an incredibly important moment for queer folks in the US.”
She adds it’s a huge step forward for human rights.
One expert is saying this move is significant for Canadians.
It’s nice to see the US joins us in legal equality says Dr. Chris Wells with the University of Alberta’s Sex minority studies program, but he feels it will still take a while for full social equality.
He hopes good conversations will be sparked now. “That need to happen in the classrooms, around dinner tables and in our legislatures.”