by Gabriella Indart
This past Friday a moment in history was created: the legalization of gay marriage nationwide. The Supreme Court of the United States, with a 5-4 vote decision, found that under the 14th Amendment all states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex unions that have been legally performed in other states. While this may be a time of jovial celebration for many couples, more conservative others label this day as failure in U.S. history.
“This radical decision purporting to strike down the marriage laws of every state, it has no connection to the United States Constitution. They are simply making it up. It is lawless and in doing so they have undermined the fundamental legitimacy of United States Supreme Court,” said Ted Cruz, a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, on Sean Hannity’s radio show.
Within the past few years, Florida has fought a similar battle to legalize gay marriage. In 2008, Florida voters passed a constitutional ban against gay marriage which was only recently lifted in 2014 after a federal judge in Tallahassee declared the law unconstitutional as did others in Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties.
Anthony Verdugo, executive director the Christian Family Coalition in South Florida, blamed lawyers and judges for ignoring millions of votes against same-sex marriage throughout the United States.
“I felt very sad for the American people. This decision was handed down by five lawyers. What these five corrupt lawyers basically did was to violate the constitutional voter rights of 50 million Americans who decided this at the ballot box: To constitutionally respect marriage as the union of one husband and one wife,” said Verdugo upon hearing the Supreme Court ruling in an interview with the Miami Herald.
Despite Ted Cruz and many others calling the Supreme Court decision on Friday “some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history,” it has not stopped couples from getting married immediately after the decision.
The Supreme Court ruling will overturn laws in 13 states banning gay marriage. Some counties, like in Georgia and Nebraska, began issuing licenses immediately.
“Today is an historic occasion for the city of Atlanta, for Georgia, and for America. The Supreme Court’s ruling marks a momentous victory for freedom, equality, and love. It is clear that the arc of history continues to bend ever closer toward justice,” said Kasim Reed, mayor of Atlanta.
“Not only is it a great day for the LGBT community, but it’s a great day for America. This is equality for all in the realest sense. It’s going to allow LGBT families with children to be equal to everyone else’s. It will eliminate the problem in the past that they felt different having two dads or two moms. This is equality with dignity,” said Bob Collier, 80, husband of Charles Hunziker, 83, in an interview with the Miami Herald.
Across the nation, LGBTQIA communities have been celebrating the Supreme Court decision. AmBi, Los Angeles’ Bi Social Community, has put on a display of parades to commemorate the occasion. Meanwhile, twitter has been decorated with tweets of congratulations under the hashtag #LoveWins.
“Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else. #LoveWins,” tweeted President Barack Obama.