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.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.
Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito all wrote dissenting opinions, which I find very strange because they all said basically the same thing, repeating the kind of douchey old argument that the decision should be settled by the legislature, because spirited debates about the rights of a minority are more valuable to society than actually granting rights to a minority. Roberts put it in a very respectable classically conservative, “This is the sort of thing the people should work out together rather than the nine of us deciding by fiat,” way. Scalia and Alito instead offered vague threats about the horrors that will ensue if the Supreme Court’s power goes unchecked.
Also, Thomas has a beef with the whole concept of substantive Due Process and at one point seems like he’s edging right up to saying “Slavery wasn’t so bad.” (“Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved,” he writes, disputing the notion that same-sex marriage bans are an affront to the dignity of same-sex couples)
I feel kind of bad for Roberts, who’s clearly trying to be a voice for moderation and slowing down and thinking things through and mostly just reminding us what we’re giving up (Albeit in a way that ignores both the track record for the majority deciding to grant rights to the minority just out of the goodness of their harts, and the fact that real harm is being done to real people while the American People struggle to make up their mind), saddled with the Three Stooges.