With a 5-4 decision on Friday, June 26, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution guarantees same-sex marriage.
The ruling covered four cases that came before the court: Obergefell v. Hodges (Ohio), Tanco v. Haslam (Tennessee), DeBoer v. Snyder (Michigan) and Bourke v. Beshear (Kentucky). Each of these states define marriage as between one man and one woman.
“The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy. “The petitioners in these cases seek to find that liberty by marrying someone of the same sex and having their marriages deemed lawful on the same terms and conditions as marriages between persons of the opposite sex.”
The court cited the Fourteenth Amendment as the argument in favor of same-sex marriage, specifically the Due Process clause which states, “no State shall ‘deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.'”
Last year, the Hoosier state had its go with same-sex marriage when U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. It didn’t take long for the state to appeal the ruling, putting a stay on same-sex marriages in Indiana.
In August 2014, Young again ruled against Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage with his ruling on Bowling v. Pence, and called Gov. Mike Pence’s actions “troubling.” Again, the state appealed the ruling, and, again, same-sex couples were denied marital rights.
By October 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court had the opportunity to review Indiana’s law. They opted not to do so, which deferred to the circuit court’s ruling. The decision ultimately lifted the ban on same-sex marriage in Indiana, granting equal marital rights to all Hoosiers.
What the Supreme Court ruling today means for Indiana’s same-sex couples is their unions must be recognized by all states in the U.S. “It’s hard to believe that just a little over a year ago, our opponents were on the verge of amending Indiana’s constitution to permanently ban any and all protections for same-sex couples,” writes Katie Blair, campaign manager for Freedom Indiana. “Today will forever go down in history as a day that moved America forward—as a day that bent the arc of justice that much closer to justice in all 50 states.”
Still, there are plenty of people upset by the SCOTUS ruling. Dr. Pam Galloway, candidate for the Third Congressional District of Indiana, issued the following statement: “Today the Supreme Court issued an outrageous decision to end the right of the states to define marriage in the United States. Marriage is clearly not a federal matter in the U.S. Constitution, and this ruling is a stark example of judicial overreach. Congress has the power to set aside Supreme Court rulings, and Congress should use that power to check this unjust decision.”
“Obergefell v. Hodges is indeed the next Roe v. Wade, serving as another example of the Supreme Court acting as a political body instead of a constitutional body,” said Frank Cannon, president of American Principles in Action. “By inventing a constitutional right to gay marriage, the Court has now put our fundamental right to religious liberty in jeopardy. Will people of faith be persecuted for believing marriage is between one man and one woman? Will religious businesses cease to exist? We will stand up on this issue. The fight continues. It’s not over.”