This has been a big summer for Pride advocates and those who marry gay couples. Just last month, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, launching the modern gay rights movement. On June 26, we also recognized the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision making marriage equality the law of the land. There are no more powerful words than Justice’s Kennedy majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, words that I use from time-to-time in wedding ceremony scripts. The statement still gives me chills!
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they respect 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. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The Judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.