The Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage can’t be banned by the states, and deemed it unconstitutional in the 5-4 decision on June 26th. Cheers erupted across the nation, and gay pride photo filters took over profile pictures on Facebook in celebration.
President and CEO of GLAAD wrote it was a watershed moment for committed same-sex couples.
“With this decision, loving and committed same-sex couples can finally rest knowing their families are protected and their dignity is no longer up for public debate. But as we celebrate this watershed victory for fairness," she explained.
"We are reminded that marriage equality is a benchmark, not a finish line, and our work to bridge the gap to full acceptance for LGBT people continues.”
Not everyone is on board.
Republican presidential candidate and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said the ruling takes away rights from the states. Christians who disagree with same sex unions would lose their religious freedoms. Churches could be mandated to marry same sex couples, despite religious beliefs.
“The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls, and tramples on states' rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution,” Jindal told supporters, The Times-Picayune reported.
Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama, are pushing back by delaying marriage licenses.
NPR reported clerks in Texas were told they did not have to issue marriage licenses if it went against personal religious beliefs. Texas Attorney General Paxton issued a statement two days after the decision stating that the government can’t force judges or justices of the peace to conduct same-sex ceremonies over religious objections.
“County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case.”
These states could then be sued, if couples are discriminated against since it is unconstitutional.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his dissent that the decision will cause collateral damage to other aspects of our constitutional order and liberty.
“In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well. It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.”
Gay marriage was legal in 36 states before the ruling.