In a monumental ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States proclaimed that marriage equality is now the law of the land.
In a landmark decision, 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. It came on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions. “No union is more profound than marriage,” Kennedy wrote. He went on to say that the stories of the people asking for the right to marry, “reveal that they seek not to denigrate marriage but rather to live their lives, or honor their spouses’ memory, joined by its bond.”
Speaking a few minutes later at the White House, President Obama praised the decision as “justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.” He said it was an affirmation of the principle that, “all Americans are created equal.”
“This court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in dissent. Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so in nearly 10 years as chief justice. “If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision,” Roberts said. “But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
This columnist, who is also the Bronx Democratic County Committee’s liaison to the LGBT community, praises this decision. Many people that I know spent the other night celebrating, whether it was by partying at The Stonewall Inn, changing their Facebook profile picture with a splash of rainbow, or with their close knit circles.
Last night I attended Pride Shabbat services at my synagogue, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the LGBT synagogue. There was prayer and celebration. The decision came down from the Supreme Court saying that the right to marry is a protected right under our constitution. Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum said in her sermon reminding those listening just how far the right to marriage has come. “Change is so fundamental to life. We have come a long way through change and need to continue to do so.”
Speaking to other friends and congregants, many expressed how much this decision meant to them. “All of us are so joyful. This means everything to me after what I and others went through.” said Edie Windsor. Edie Windsor was the plaintiff in the United States vs. Windsor case which was decided in 2013 in her favor. This set the path for marriage equality.
Cynthia Nixon, noted actress and star of “Sex in The City” said “This is a very important day for us. I’m part of the LGBT community with my wife Christine and our son. This is progress. We still have a long way to go for total equality for all.”
Goldstein said: “It is obvious to me that this decision has to be enforced. There are states which will attempt to legislate discrimination just as they did with Jim Crow laws aimed at the rights of African-Americans. The fight for equality for all is not over. We have a long way to go.”