The Supreme Court ruled Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, handing gay rights advocates their biggest victory yet.
The relevant cases were argued earlier this year. Attorney John Bursch, serving as Michigan’s Special Assistant Attorney General, defended four states’ bans on gay marriage before the Court, arguing that the case was not about how to define marriage, but rather about who gets to decide the question.
It”s a landmark ruling that has profound consequences. Fourteen states currently ban gay marriages, but as of today the ban is lifted and all states are now REQUIRED to issue marriage licenses, irrespective of sex.
The decision was 5-4, and Justice Anthony Kennedy again proved he’s the most powerful man on the Court, not only providing the swing vote but writing the majority opinion.
Hilary Clinton quickly weighed in, tweeting, “Proud to celebrate a historic victory for marriage equality — & the courage and determination of LGBT Americans who made it possible.”
Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins
— President Obama (@POTUS) June 26, 2015