Everyone is hoping it's today—because, you know, we have Pride parades coming up this weekend. But SCOTUS's marriage equality decision is just one of five the court will hand down today and Monday. So... we could be up early again for nothing. (Not that the other decisions are nothing—they're important, too.) Or the court could decide to make Christianity illegal this morning. KIDDING. The court is not going to make Christianity illegal, despite the claims of so many right-wing Christians. They're going to—if things go our way—make same-sex marriage legal. Even for queer Christians.

Okay—word is the court will be handing down four decisions this morning. That's a good sign.

UPDATE: Here we go...


5-4. Kennedy writes the majority opinion.

The decision is here.

The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. Same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. Baker v. Nelson is overruled. The State laws challenged by the petitioners in these cases are held invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.

Until the mid-20th century, same-sex intimacy long had been condemned as immoral by the state itself in most Western nations, a belief often embodied in the criminal law. For this reason, among others, many persons did not deem homosexuals to have dignity in their own distinct identity. A truthful declaration by same-sex couples of what was in their hearts had to remain unspoken. Even when a greater awareness of the humanity and integrity of homosexual persons came in the period after World War II, the argument that gays and lesbians had a just claim to dignity was in conflict with both law and widespread social conventions. Same-sex intimacy remained a crime in many States. Gays and lesbians were prohibited from most government employment, barred from military service, excluded under immigration laws, targeted by police, and burdened in their rights to associate.

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. 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 charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.

The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation. There is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices.

I'm reading the decision and I'm literally speechless. I never thought this day would come—not in my lifetime. Going to go kiss the husband now.

UPDATE: After opponents of marriage equality saw their "best" arguments against marriage equality torn down—children! Monogamy! Religion! (straight people don't have to have children, be monogamous, or be religious to married)—they were left with one last and deeply stupid argument against allowing same-sex couples to marry: If we allow gay people to get married then straight people will stop getting married and they'll abandon their biological children. Kennedy shredded the "straight people suck" argument in his decision:

The respondents also argue allowing same-sex couples to wed will harm marriage as an institution by leading to fewer opposite-sex marriages. This may occur, the respondents contend, because licensing same-sex marriage severs the connection between natural procreation and marriage. That argument, however, rests on a counterintuitive view of opposite-sex couple’s decision making processes regarding marriage and parenthood. Decisions about whether to marry and raise children are based on many personal, romantic, and practical considerations; and it is unrealistic to conclude that an opposite-sex couple would choose not to marry simply because same-sex couples may do so.

But will people of faith—not all of whom oppose same-sex marriage—still be able to argue against same-sex marriage? Of course they will:

Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. In turn, those who believe allowing same-sex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate. The Constitution, however, does not permit the State to bar same-sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex.

Kennedy's closing paragraph is... making me cry:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

Telling my parents in 1980 that I was gay didn't just mean telling them that I was sexually and romantically attracted to other boys. I was also telling them that I would never have children and that I would never marry. That was then. This is now.

UPDATE: I haven't started to read the dissents—there are four of them—but my brother is digging in:

From Alito's dissent:

For millennia, marriage was inextricably linked to the one thing that only an opposite-sex couple can do: procreate. If this traditional understanding of the purpose of marriage does not ring true to all ears today, that is probably because the tie between marriage and procreation has frayed. Today, for instance, more than 40% of all children are born to unmarried women. This development undoubtedly is both a cause and a result of changes in our societies understanding of marriage."

Thanks, Bristol!

UPDATE: Pretty jinxy of Freedom to Marry to have this celebratory ad in the can before the decision came down... but lovely nonetheless.