It’s been a pretty amazing week: On Monday, the governor of South Carolina, along with supporters around the country, called for the Confederate flag to (finally) be taken down from the Statehouse grounds and today — June 26, 2015 — the Supreme Court officially made it legal for same-sex couples to get married all over the country!
In his decision, Justice Kennedy said:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family … 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.”
Of course, we can’t help but notice just how similar this decision is to the Supreme Court decision to make interracial marriage legal — almost 50 years ago. Both issues discriminated against people who were different; both used the Bible to justify their prejudice (Yeah, they tried it.); both had special acts associated with them, such as the “Defense of Marriage Act” and Virginia’s “Racial Integrity Act of 1924“; and both went through periods of time where individual states legalized it on their own — and others straight-up refused to do so.
But overall, the laws of this country — and the growing support of the people who live here — shut all that down. So, we celebrate.