6 Years Ago Today: Marriage Equality Becomes The Law Of The Land

Six years ago today the United States Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal across the nation

Six years ago today, the United States took a huge leap forward in equal rights for all when the Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality was a constitutional right.

And just like that, my marriage was valid and equal to all.

Easily one of the most impactful, emotional days of my life. I will never be able to articulate the emotions that came over me in the minutes, hours, days after the news was announced.

And then, just to put the cherry on top of the sundae, the White House celebrated the occasion awash in the colors of the LGBT rainbow.

Still so far to go, but it’s important to slow down for a second and remember the good days.

Supreme Court Justice Alito Criticizes High Court’s Marriage Equality Ruling

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito (screen capture)

While delivering the keynote speech at the Federalist Society’s convention last night, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito surprised some by going full-on anti-same-sex marriage by openly criticizing the high court’s 2015 Obergefell ruling.

The Federal Society is the ulra-conservative organization that, among other things, has advised and recommended all three of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court picks.

From HuffPost:

Alito condemned the landmark same-sex marriage decision Obergefell v. Hodges, saying it has led to censorship of people who believe is “a union of one man and one woman.” He suggested it meant that freedom of speech is “falling out of favor in some circles.”

“You can’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Until very recently, that’s what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now it’s considered bigotry,” Alito said.

“That this would happen after our decision in Obergefell should not have come as a surprise,” he added. “Yes, the opinion of the court included words meant to calm the fears of those who cling to traditional views of marriage. But I could see, and so did the other justices in dissent, where the decision would lead.”

First of all, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word bigotry as “obstinate or intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions and prejudices.” So, “clinging” to one’s own views without considering those of others pretty much falls under that definition.

And, as HuffPost points out, “people can still freely express opposition to same-sex marriage, just as their critics can freely call them ‘bigots.'”

Alito also criticized governors for issuing “sweeping restrictions” in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which is currently surging in nearly every state in the union.

Celebrating 5 Years Of Marriage Equality In The US

Switzerland has approved same-sex marriage by a wide margin

It was five years ago today that the U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, making same-sex marriage legal across the entire United States.

In light of the happy occasion, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at how marriage equality has spread across the globe. Currently, 32 countries recognize same-sex marriage.

On September 12, 2000, The Netherlands became the first nation on the planet to legalize marriage equality. On April 1, 2001, the day the law went into effect, the world watched as four same-sex couples exchanged marriage vows in a ceremony officiated by the mayor of Amsterdam.

In July 2010, Argentina led the way in South America after several cities including Buenos Aires had allowed gays and lesbians to enter into civil unions.

While Denmark made marriage equality legal in 2012, it’s worth noting they were the first country in the world to recognize same-sex couples as domestic partners.

(image via ABC News)

In 2015, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage via popular vote. Until then, other countries came to marriage equality via court ruling or legislation.

In 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize marriage equality.

Last month, Costa Rica became the first nation in Central America to recognize same-sex marriage.

Here are the 32 countries (so far) that have legalized same-sex marriage (in chronological order):

The Netherlands
Belgium
Spain
Canada
South Africa
Norway
Sweden
Argentina
Portugal
Iceland
Denmark
Uruguay
Brazil
New Zealand
England
Wales
France
Luxembourg
Scotland
United States
Ireland
Finland
Greenland
Colombia
Malta
Australia
Germany
Austria
Taiwan
Ecuador
Northern Ireland
Costa Rica

(source: ABC News)

North Carolina GOP Lawmakers File Bill Declaring SCOTUS Ruling On Marriage Equality “Null And Void”

Click image to enlarge

The Republican-led General Assembly of North Carolina just filed House Bill 780 declaring that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling which made marriage equality the law of the land is “null and void in the state of North Carolina.”

From the bill:

The General Assembly of the State of North Carolina declares that the Obergefell v. Hodges decision of the United States Supreme Court of 2015 is null and void in the State of North Carolina, and that the State of North Carolina shall henceforth uphold and enforce Section 6 of Article XIV of the North Carolina Constitution, the opinion and objection of the United States Supreme Court notwithstanding.

Good luck with that one, North Carolina.

#WillNeverBecomeLaw

I wonder how “welcoming” and “inclusive” the NCAA will view North Carolina now…?

Federal Judge Rules Mississippi County Clerks Don’t Get To Refuse Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

After the historic SCOTUS ruling last year which brought marriage equality to the entire United States, Mississippi passed a law as an attempted end-run around same-sex marriage allowing county clerks to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses.

A federal judge has ruled that law unconstitutional.

Via Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed:

“[T]he Supreme Court’s ruling will be enforced,” U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves wrote of the year-old decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

There was already a court order that stopped Mississippi from enforcing its ban on same-sex couples’ marriages. On Monday, the judge agreed to expand that order to address the so-called “recusal” provision of HB 1523, which was passed earlier this year and would go into effect on July 1.

“Having reviewed the relevant section of HB 1523, the parties’ arguments, and the scope of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell, the Court finds that [the recusal provision] may in fact amend Mississippi’s marriage licensing regime in such a way as to conflict with Obergefell,” the judge wrote.

Judge Reeves also addressed the idea of any ongoing disapproval over marriage equality after Obergefell:

“Mississippi’s elected officials may disagree with Obergefell, of course, and may express that disagreement as they see fit – by advocating for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision, for example. But the marriage license issue will not be adjudicated anew after every legislative session.”

Pat Robertson Doesn’t Understand How The Supreme Court Works

Wackjob Pat Robertson told viewers of The 700 Club that this summer’s ruling from SCOTUS on same-sex marriage only affects a few couples who were involved in the actual case itself, and that unless Congress passes a law making marriage equality legal, it’s not really the law of the land.

Via Right Wing Watch:

“In the legal system, party A sues party B over marriage, ‘I want to get married to them,’ and the court says, ‘Okay, you can get married,’” he explained. “That doesn’t mean that I’ve got to get married to homosexuals, it doesn’t mean that you have to nor does it mean that it’s the law of the land. Congress didn’t pass any law. Your state legislature didn’t pass a law. So you’re not under anything, it’s a decision of the court having to do with a couple of people. Now they would like to make it bigger than that but, in terms of the Constitution, it isn’t.”

Trust and believe, the Obergefell ruling struck down all the anti-gay marriage laws in the U.S. That IS how the law works here.