The rainbow flag flew high across the entire nation Friday as the U.S. Supreme Court cast a landmark civil rights ruling on gay marriage.
“From this day forward, it will simply be ‘marriage,”’ said lead plaintiff Jim Obergefell.
Reaction to the high court’s 5-4 decision was decidedly supportive of marriage equality among those who commented on our Amherst, Oberlin, and Wellington Facebook pages.
“Long past due! I think it is wonderful!” wrote Diane Lindway of Amherst, her sentiment picked up and echoed by a chorus of well-wishers (read on for more local responses).
The Lorain County Probate Court was prepared for the announcement and started issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples early in the morning.
The first went to Teri Ann and C.J. Jasany of Sheffield Lake. Court officials said that by early afternoon a second same-sex couple had also been granted a license.
The high court’s decision in Obergefell et al v. Hodges overturned state constitutional amendments in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee that banned same-sex marriages.
By extension, it legalized marriage in all 50 states.
The majority ruling said the institution has already evolved for the better, historically moving away from arranged marriages and coverture (the loss of a woman’s legal rights to her husband).
Liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment “extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs,” the decision said.
“The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times,” it said. “The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a character protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.”
We turned to Facebook for immediate feedback, asking, “What do you think of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality?”
Here are some of the replies:
“So happy! As the sister of a gay man, I can say without a doubt that all he and his partner ever wanted was equality! Love is love!”
“I feel sorry! I wish I could encourage people to read the Bible, the manual to life. It’s so sad how easily others are distracts and corrupted by the ways of this world. This is not what God intended.”
Phil Van Treuren
“I think it’s great news and was the right decision.”
Diane Szekely Papp
“Finally the right decision! One love, people.”
Theresa J Peterson
“Yay, it should have happened ages ago.”
“I am proud that it finally happened. Everyone has the right to get married and be happy with that special person in their life.”
“Long time in coming… now for plural marriages/polyamoury.”
“Growing up in Oberlin and living in Lorain County it is nice to see that my home town will now be able to allow everyone to get married. My partner and I were just talking about whether to get married in Colorado so we would be OK in Ohio, but now it’s a moot point.”
Jennifer Reip Mitchell
“It’s about time.”
“Woohoo! It’s awesome!”
“So happy for them!”
“Happiness beyond words!”
“Great week for America!”
“It’s about time!”
“Everything else in this country is being taken away or changed. Might as well take away the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman too. Unreal.”
Trisha Timko Cypher
“It doesn’t affect me if gays marry or not… why not let people do what makes them happy? You can’t help who you fall in love with.”
“I love other women too. I also know and acknowledge the reason for the male and female forms which leads me to practice self-control when certain urges and pressures of this world come to me. We all are enticed and drawn out by our own desires. That doesn’t mean it’s all right to act on them. Peace and the right form of love to all. We all should know the different types of love so that we have a clearer understanding and are better able to make informed decisions.”
“My opinion: First, there is marriage under the eyes of your God, a religious marriage. No one, no government should be able to force a religious leader to perform any marriage that their beliefs disagree with. Second, the government should recognize all marriages. This is a question spousal rights. It has nothing to do with religion. Your spouse should have the same rights as any other spouse, whether same sex or different sex. And lastly, government officials who can perform marriage ceremonies should be allowed to discriminate. You represent the government, not a religion (although religion has played a roll in developing our laws, we still want our government to not be religious, we might end up with extreme religious laws if that were to happen).”
Brandi Teasdale Guyer
“It shouldn’t matter what any of us think about this. Does this ruling affect our daily lives and ways of living? No, it does not. Our lives continue on as they were — gay marriage will not change that. So why anyone gets into an uproar about it is really ridiculous. What’s sad is that it takes the federal government stepping in to control something else in our world because of society putting rights and wrongs on human behavior. When did it become our place to judge and deem ‘wrong?’”
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