Supreme Court Makes Historic Family Law Ruling
Today, the Supreme Court has made a monumental decision to strike down bans on same-sex marriages in 14 states. At the same time, this mandate serves as a monumental victory to the gay rights movement that would’ve been impossible 10 years ago. In any case, this ruling significantly changes the landscape of family law in Tallahassee and around the nation. Continue reading to learn more about today’s historic Supreme Court family law ruling.
Today’s decision shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise. After authoring several decisions for LGBT people, conservative justice, Anthony Kennedy, took the side with the other four liberal judges to knock down the ban on same-sex marriages. The 5-4 majority decided that not allowing same-sex marriages was a violation of their constitutional right to equal protection and due process under the 14 Amendment. At the same time, states were not able to present a compelling reason to continue to prevent the same-sex marriages.
Kennedy wrote of same sex couple “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.” Kennedy presented the Supreme Court’s decision to a quite courtroom, while his colleagues watched with stolid faces. As the sweep of the decision became evident, many in the audience cried and embraced.
Following this ruling, the U.S. becomes the 21st country to allow same-sex marriages in every jurisdiction. Within moments of the decision, county clerks in Michigan, which is one of the states banning same sex marriages, said they would start issuing marriage licenses to lesbian and gay couples.
In demonstration of the discourse of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts read from his dissent for 10 minutes. In his dissent, he accused the majority of ignoring the Constitution and overstepping their bounds. Roberts said, “Today, five lawyers have ordered every state to change their definition of marriage. Just who do we think we are?” As hundreds of same-sex marriage supporters celebrated with flags and banners, Roberts said to them: “By all means, celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
This epic landmark ruling ended the battle that had ensued in the states for 45 years. The major turning point in this battle was in 2013, when the high court forced the federal government to acknowledge same-sex marriages. From the White House Rose Garden, President Obama hailed the ruling before he left for South Carolina to provide the eulogy for the residents murdered in Charleston. President Obama stated “This ruling will strengthen all of our communities by offering to all loving same-sex couples the dignity of marriage across this great land.”
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