The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) declared on Friday that all 50 states must uphold the legality of same-sex marriage.
This makes the United States the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, per CNN.
The ruling on same sex marriage is readily available on the SCOTUS website.
"The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State."
Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, noted to be an "unlikely champion for LGBT rights", per Second Nexus, as he was nominated by President Reagan, was thought to be the swing rule in the 5-4 vote per Yahoo Finance.
Kennedy wrote this statement confirming that the Constitution guarantees marriage freedom to gay couples, according to Time Magazine.
"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 a love that may endure even past death. 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. 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 judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed."
GOP candidates were split on their responses to the SCOTUS decision, per CNN, with Democrats quick to blast out positive affirmations on same-sex marriage via Twitter. Republicans Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee were hesitant to blast the ruling.
A spokeman for Ohio Governor John Kasich stated that GOP hopeful "has always believed in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, but our nation's highest court has spoken and we must respect its decision."
George Takei, widely followed on Facebook and a long a proponent of same-sex marriage, posted gleefully about the ruling.
"I have waited decades for this day, and my heart is full of joy and my eyes wet with tears. Let the celebrations begin, and may the happy couples live long and prosper together."
Author Anne Rice lauded the decision.Anne Rice's son Christopher, also an author, is widely outspoken on his own rights as a gay man. Allstate Insurance made this public affirmation of the company's stance on gay rights. Opinions are likely to continue to escalate on the issue of same-sex marriage, but the SCOTUS decision stands and every state in the Union must now abide the ruling.
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