United States Supreme Court Legalises Gay Marriage

The 26th of June 2015 will be written in the history books as the day the United States Supreme Court made same sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

Five out of the nine ruling Supreme Court justices voted in favour of Obergefell V Hodges. The momentous event is being called “The victory of love”.

The “equal protection” clause of the 14th amendment of the constitution now includes the rights of same sex couples to legally marry in all 50 states.

When the case was first announced to be voted upon, there were two questions that were to be decided. The first was to make same sex marriage legal and binding in all states of America. The second law was to act as a fail-safe if the first didn’t pass. It said that if same sex marriage was not legal in all states then it would at least be recognised as valid in all states. Ultimately, there was no need for the fail safe. The preferred decision was made.

President Obama made a speech at the white house declaring, “America should be very proud”. He said the decision was “A victory for the gay and lesbian couples that have fought so long for their basic civil rights. A victory for the children, whose families will now be recognised as equal to any other.”

Moving quickly after Ireland’s groundbreaking effort, America can set a trend to echo around the globe and reinforce the efforts and hard work of so many people still fighting for equality in their own countries.

President Obama finished his speech with these moving words. “Today we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect. That’s the consequence of a decision by the Supreme Court but more importantly it’s a consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades. Those countless often anonymous heroes, they deserve our thanks they should be very proud, America should be very proud.”

It’s hard for this journalist to believe, that in today’s modern climate of acceptance and understanding, that our wonderful country can still be so behind on this issue. That despite calls from the masses, and sides of government, we still can’t include queer couples in our definition of marriage. If Ireland and America, two of the most religious and stubborn countries, can come to their senses, why can’t we?

Now more than ever, pressure will be on the government to call for a conscience vote, or better yet, a binding vote. The momentum is building and we must demand equality.


Jake Cupitt