By Terry Miller
In a landmark opinion, a divided Supreme Court ruled Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a victory that until very recently would have seemed unthinkable.
Word travelled fast and Pasadena Pride Center along with Planned Parenthood quickly mobilized a small celebration at the Metro Lake Ave Gold Line Station Friday night.
Scores of men, women, and children held up signs like “Love Wins” and “Equal Rights” and even a couple of “ Monks 4 Eqaulity [sic]” to the sounds of commuters honking their horns in solidarity on the commute home.
George Takei of Star Trek fame had this to say last Friday morning on his Facebook account: “Oh Happy Day! The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that marriage equality is the law of the United States. Yes, ALL of these United States. I have waited decades for this day, and my heart is full of joy and my eyes wet with tears. Let the celebrations begin, and may the happy couples live long and prosper together.”
The 78-year-old and his now-husband were among the first gay couples in California to obtain a marriage license, and they wed in the before Prop. 8 kicked in that November and defined marriage in the state as between a man and a woman. That law was later found unconstitutional.
In a 5-4 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority with the four liberal justices. Each of the four conservative justices wrote their own dissent.
Nearly 46 years to the day after a riot at New York’s Stonewall Inn ushered in the modern gay rights movement, the decision could settle one of the major civil rights fights of this era. The language of Kennedy’s opinion spoke eloquently of the most fundamental values of family, love, and liberty.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family,” Kennedy wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were.”
State Controller Betty T. Yee Friday issued the following statement on the historic ruling by the United States Supreme Court, which declared marriage for same-sex couples legal nationwide:
“I’m thrilled for the millions of families across this nation whose relationships have been affirmed by today’s Supreme Court ruling, and grateful for the activists and advocates who have fought this battle for so many years. Today’s ruling is, no doubt, a historic milestone in the ongoing struggle to attain true equality at all levels – equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal pay for all Americans. I am proud that, while I was chair of the Board of Equalization, we created a framework for tax equity for same-sex couples that can now serve as an example to other states that will be extending marriage rights to all.”