1. In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that the Constitution requires states to license same-sex marriage and to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed elsewhere. [Read more]
2. The court's majority includes Justice Anthony Kennedy (the conventional "swing vote") joining the bench's liberal wing: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer. The opinion hinges on the Consitutional reasoning of fundamental rights and equal protection. [Read the complete opinion]
3. Gays and lesbians can now be married in Georgia, and in fact a gay couple was exchanging vows at the Fulton County courthouse minutes after the decision came down. [Read more about what the ruling means for Georgia]
4. Kennedy's majority opinion ends, in part, with: "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."
5. Kennedy, a Republican appointee, has become the court's most prominent defender of same-sex relationships — authoring its opinions in the three major recent gay rights decisions: Lawrence v. Texas, United States v. Windsor and now Obergefell v. Hodges. Observers say this in part reflects Kennedy's deeply-held beliefs about individual privacy and liberty. [Read more]
6. Four justices — Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and Chief Justice John Roberts — dissented. In a rare move, all four filed seperate dissents; and for the first time, Justice Roberts read his dissent from the bench. Roberts acknowledged same-sex couples would recieve the ruling as historic and "celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner [and] celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."
7. Some opponents of same-sex marraige say they are being "bullied" for their beliefs, and now fear speaking out publicly. Beyond the verbal backlash that many say they are receiving, these opponents assert that speaking their minds could hurt their businesses, their employment or their chances for advancement at work. [Read more]
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