In Obergefell V. Hodges, Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Is Constitutional Right

Originally published in Westchester Magazine

June 26, 2015

Legal in New York since 2011, the Supreme Court has ruled that all states must allow and recognize same-sex marriage.

By all objective measures, The Supreme Court is on a roll this week. Just one day after upholding President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Court ruled on Friday that marriage for same-sex couples is a constitutional right.

Following the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, Obama personally called and congratulated Jim Obergefell, who wanted his home state of Ohio to recognize the marriage between him and his late husband, John Arthur. Wed in Maryland, when Arthur died shortly after returning home to Ohio, where same-sex marriage was illegal, the state refused to acknowledge their union.

Now, after an emotional victory for Obergefell—and for every same-sex couple in the United States—regardless of the state in which a couple lives, their marriage will be recognized.

Westchester Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-17) said in a press statement, “Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld one of the fundamental principles of our country: equal treatment under the law.”

“This is an exciting day for all of us who believe in equality and justice. For too long, LGBT couples have been restricted from exercising their fundamental rights. Now, all men and women have equal protection and are free to marry whomever they love regardless of what state they call home,” she said.

For another member of Westchester’s congressional delegation, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-18), Friday’s historic victory was also a personal one.

Maloney, who last year married his now-husband Randy after 22 years together, said “While the idea of marriage was once impossible, in the eyes of the federal government, because of the Supreme Court’s action, our relationship was finally treated as equal under federal law. These triumphs are not only for families like mine, but for millions of Americans who still face legal discrimination simply for who they are and who they love. I will continue to work in Congress to make sure that we keep taking steps toward full equality”

“The Supreme Court made the right decision today by recognizing same-sex marriages and treating all same-sex couples across the country equally under the law. Today the court continued the progress of the civil rights movement, and reaffirmed a moral truth about freedom in America that is, as John Kennedy said, ‘as old as scripture and as clear as the American Constitution,’” Maloney said.

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