Denmark was the first country to legalize gay marriage in 1989, followed by a list of nations including Spain, Belgium, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Portugal, and Argentina. Gay activists have been fighting hard for same-sex marriage in the US for decades. In the 1990s, three same sex couples challenged the law but it wasn’t until recently that the US became the 21st country to legalize gay marriage. Some states had previously allowed same-sex marriage – actually 36 – but on June 26 2015, the Supreme Court made it legal in all 50 states.
The new law states that the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is the direct violation of the Equal Protection and the Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. With the change of this law, it will now become possible for gay couples to get marriage licenses and enjoy the same federal benefits that are available for straight married couples.
Obviously, this is an issue where both sides have been vociferous in their support or condemnation of the ruling.
Reactions from Those Who Supported It
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has always been one of the leading advocacy groups working for the legalization of gay marriage and they have welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of same-sex marriage. The decision will now make it possible for gay couples who may have spent last, 20, 30 or even 50 years together to honor their relationship.
Democrats have also expressed their elation after the decision. Hillary Clinton, the Former Secretary of State, said that she really felt proud of the ruling. President Obama also congratulated the lead plaintiff in the case and said that Americans should feel very proud about how small acts of courage finally made the country realize that love is love.
Many other professional organizations such as the American Sociological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Anthropological Association, American Academy of Nursing, and more have also played a role in getting the decision turned in their favor by proving that claims like any legal recognition of marriage for gays will undermine the institution of marriage hold no water. There is scientific evidence that homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality and even same-sex parents can be good parents to raise children.
Reactions From Those Who Opposed It
Just like proponents, there have always groups who strongly opposed the idea of legalizing gay marriages in the United States. Opponents ground their arguments on religious concerns, parenting concerns, and concerns that any such changes to the marriage act would ultimately lead to the inclusion of polygamy or even incest. They also believe gay marriage is unnatural and even violates the sanctity of marriage.
Even though Democrats welcomed the decision, but that’s not the case with conservative firebrands, including former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. They believe that conservatives should not retreat and must stand together to seek a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Huckabee even called it “judicial tyranny”. Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker said they should work to amend the U.S. Constitution to give states the power to ban gay marriage once again.
Even though the ruling has come in favor of gay sex marriage, which even made people say that Justice Kennedy has penned the perfect closing paragraph ever, there will still be others with a different opinion altogether and saying, “God has defined marriage and no man should be put in charge to redefine it.” While it is true that states should have the authority to make any decision about gay marriage legality, it seems the opponents should understand that with gay marriage gaining acceptance in many other western countries, it’s time for them to step back and actually go with the Supreme Court’s decision.