In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has just handed down one of the most consequential civil rights decisions in its history.
Same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry, and states cannot take that right away from them, says the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling handed down moments ago. The decision requires all 50 states and all U.S. territories to recognize all legally-performed marriages from all jurisdictions, and to extend marriage to same-sex couples. In short, the court’s decision requires all states to treat marriages of same-sex couples exactly as they treat marriages of different-sex couples.
The United States now becomes one of about 21 countries that have extended marriage to same-sex couples.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. The Chief Justice, John Roberts, along with Justices Alito, Thomas, and Scalia dissented.Â
The case, Obergefell v. Hodges, was filed by Jim Obergefell, a man whose legally-married husband died. Obergelfell sued to have his name placed on his husband’s death certificate.
The Court heard four same-sex marriage cases in April, all from the 6th Circuit Court of appeals, the only appellateÂ court that ruled states may practice marriage discrimination against same-sex couples. That decision was in Michigan’s DeBoer v. Snyder, a case filed by two women, both pediatric emergency room nurses, who have adopted four special needs children and wanted to marry so they could jointly adopt each child.Â
On April 28, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in cases from each of the four states that comprise the 6th Circuit: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. It had challenged plaintiffs and defendantsÂ to answer two questions:
Question 1:Â Must states allow same-sex couples to marry under the United States Constitution?Â
Question 2:Â Must states recognize the legal marriages entered by same-sex couples in other jurisdictions?
The Court this morning answered yes to both.
Today’s historic ruling may well be one of the most important civil rights rulings since 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, in which the Supreme Court struck down banning interracialÂ marriage, and paved the way for today’s decision by stating marriage is a civil right.
Along the way, in 2003, the Supreme Court inÂ Lawrence v. Texas ruled all bans on sodomy were unconstitutional and that criminalizing same-sex relationships is a violation of privacy rights.
In 2013’s U.S. v. Windsor, the Court struck down Section 3 ofÂ DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, in a historic case brought by Edie Windsor of New York. Windsor had married her partner of four decades, Thea Spyer, in Canada shortly before Spyer’s death. The IRS demanded she pay $363,000 in inheritance taxes that she would not have had to incur had she been married to a man.
Since the DOMA decision two years ago, state marriage bans have fallen at historic speed, and the support for same-sex marriage has escalated faster than any other social issue. Today, polls find that up to 60 percent of Americans support the right of same-sex couples to marry, and the majority of Americans also wanted the Supreme Court to decide in favor of a national, 50-state right to marry.
Before today’s ruling, same-sex marriage was legal inÂ 37 states and one U.S. territory. Of the remaining 13 states, bans remained in place in the four states of the 6th Circuit. In the remaining nine states, rulings or decisionsÂ were placed on hold in deference to the impending Supreme court ruling.
There willÂ assuredly be a backlash, as the religious right has promised. The Southern Baptist Convention, which boasts 16 million members, has vowed to defy the ruling. At least two current Republican presidential candidates, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, have signed a pledge to defy today’s ruling. Every Republican likely and declared GOP presidential candidate is formally opposed to same-sex marriage. Some high-ranking state officials, like Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, have suggested they will not follow today’s ruling.
While today’s historic ruling advances civil right for LGBT Americans, this is far from the completion of the fight for equality. As more and more same-sex couples marry, they can still be fired in the majority of states for being gay. Just yesterday President Barack Obama again called on Congress to pass ENDA to protect LGBT employees.
This is a breaking news and developing story and has been updated.
Stay withÂ The New Civil Rights Movement all day for reports, reactions, and other important marriage news.
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Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre
On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.
“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.
“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.
‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”
Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.
“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theory” repeatedly, and used the term “invasion” repeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.
“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.
Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick repeatedly says the state’s declaration of an “invasion” of migrants means they can “put hands on people and send them back.”
He then says “we’re being attacked just like we were on Pearl Harbor.” pic.twitter.com/kmcPakR43Z
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2022
7th Victim of July 4th Mass Shooting Dies
Seven people have now died as a result of a gunman opening fire from a rooftop into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The latest victim succumbed to their injuries Tuesday afternoon, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Authorities have not identified all the victims, but have said five of those who died were adults. Another 46 people were wounded.
Police on Tuesday announced that the shooter fired at least 70 rounds into the crowd, using a “high-powered rifle” that is “similar” to a AR-15. They also revealed the suspected gunman planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting.
Law enforcement Monday evening arrested Robert Crimo, who they say is a “person of interest,” but he has not been charged.
“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.”
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