On Friday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. In a 5-4 decision, Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Breyer said, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family," adding "it would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage."
Overwhelmingly, the majority Justices found that those who seek the right to marry are asking for a life of dignity and companionship, and that the request is protected by the Constitution. Kennedy left us with this nugget about the power of love:
Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilizations oldest institutions. They ask for dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The dissenting Justices, like unhappy families, expressed unhappiness about the decision in their own ways — and each wrote a lengthy, angsty explanation of why gay marriage should remain un-American. Here are the highlights of the losers' positions:
Justice John Roberts
- The dictionary defines marriage as…
- It's pretentious to believe that we know better than those who opposed gay marriage before us:
Justice Samuel Alito
- It will be harder for homophobes to avoid the "bigot" label now
Justice Antonin Scalia
- The Supreme Court is not diverse enough to allow gay marriage, and "California does not count" as the West
- The Supreme Court is not populist enough to allow gay marriage:
- The Supreme Court Justices who ruled to legalize gay marriage are bad writers:
- You don't need to be married to be intimate, just ask the nearest hippie:
Justice Clarence Thomas
- "Slaves did not lose their dignity… because government allowed them to be enslaved."
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• Everyone needs to read Justice Kennedy’s beautiful defense of gay marriage
• Clarence Thomas’s jaw-dropping gay marriage dissent: “Slaves did not lose their dignity.”
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• Despite same-sex marriage win, the U.S. fails to crack the top 10 best places for lesbians and gays to live
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.