"Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions."


(CBS SF)– The full text of the Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriage legal across the land–essentially making it just “marriage”–reveals a court with a diversity of opinions, as the 5-4 vote also came with five separate opinions being written.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, ending with these iconic words:

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.”

FULL TEXT: Supreme Court Ruling Obergefell v. Hodges

Each of the four dissenting justices wrote a separate opinion.

Chief  Justice John Roberts’ opinion is based on the concept of valuing the legislative process, and not “legislating from the bench.” He writes:

“Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. 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.”

The Chief Justice writes to congratulate those celebrating and uses very inclusive, politically correct language, but clarifies that:

“If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits.

But do not celebrate the Constitution.

It had nothing to do with it.

I respectfully dissent.”

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