The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 in the landmark case of Obergefell v Hodges, which acts to make marriage a constitutional right for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
All four of the Supreme Court’s liberal justices – Elena Kagan, Sonia Maria Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer and the inimitable Ruth Bader Ginsburg – voted in favour, and they were joined by Republican centrist justice Anthony McLeod Kennedy. All four conservative justices – John G. Roberts Jr., Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. – voted against.
The historic ruling was met with cheers outside the Supreme Court, with some gay rights activists openly weeping and waving rainbow flags.
Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee lamented the decision, calling it an act of ’judicial tyranny’.
Justice Kennedy wrote of the same-sex couples whose lives will be changed by this ruling: “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”.
On the same day, the Supreme Court also voted to uphold President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act in the case of King v Burwell.
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