The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Friday, June 26, that same-sex couples throughout the United States have a legal right to get married.
Keep scrolling to read the full text of all of the opinions embedded below
Kennedy began the court’s majority opinion by going over the Obergefell v. Hodges case and noted the history of marriage.
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The majority’s most compelling argument lays in the following paragraph from Kennedy’s opinion:
“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. It is so ordered.”
All four judges agreed that individual states should have the right to decide who is allowed to marry within their own states. Roberts expounded on that in his opinion.
“Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not,” Roberts wrote. “The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition.”
Roberts delivered his opinion from the bench, the first time he’s done so in his 10 years as Chief Justice.
Read the full opinions in the document below.