The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that same sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. The court also said that same sex marriages in the 36 states where they were already legal had to be recognized in states that had not let legalized same sex marriage.
The court’s majority, led by Justice Anthony Kennedy, based its opinion on the 14th amendment, ratified in 1868, which established the principle of equal protection.
The decision has enormous legal and financial implications for states, counties and cities across the United States. There are already an estimated 360,000 same sex married couples in the U.S. We’ll be exploring the various aspects of the decision in coming days.
President Obama, who did not publicly support same sex marriage until 2012, hailed the court’s ruling. “This decision will end the patchwork system we currently have,” Obama said. “When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.”
Many people focused on the final paragraph of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s ruling, seen above, which was far more romantic than the vast majority of Supreme Court decisions.
However, the court’s action is likely to be challenged on a number of levels. One of them is adoption, as our Rick Pluta wrote.
Opponents of same sex marriage include Gov. Jeb Bush, the leading Republican presidential candidate. He reiterated his opposition in a statement.
My thoughts on today’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage: http://t.co/fd4nzBmUBl
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) June 26, 2015
The court’s action did not address other legal issues affecting the LGBT community. In a number of states, employers can fire employees because of their sexual orientation.
In the minutes after the court’s decision, the decision was celebrated on social by CEOs and a number of brands. Here’s a selection of those tweets. See more in our Storify.
Today marks a victory for equality, perseverance and love.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 26, 2015
— Honey Maid (@HoneyMaidSnacks) June 26, 2015
— AT&T (@ATT) June 26, 2015
For story ideas, find out if your state has already legalized same sex marriage. How many couples have been married there? What is their tax filing status? If your state is now allowing same sex marriage, how do local businesses feel about the development? Are any local brands already capitalizing on the decision? Will there be continued opposition to it?