In 2004, when Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry, President George W. Bush declared support for a constitutional amendment “to protect the institution of marriage.” Voters in 13 states changed their constitutions to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. In most of those states, the vote wasn’t even close.
Eleven years later, the Supreme Court has now ruled that all those gay marriage bans must fall and same-sex couples have the same right to marry under the Constitution as everyone else. “No longer may this liberty be denied to them,” Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his June 26 opinion for the court.
The Episcopal Church has completed its embrace of gay rights, changing church law to allow same-sex religious marriages throughout the denomination, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.
The new policy won overwhelming approval from the top Episcopal legislative body earlier this week, following decades of debate and conflict. It came 12 years after the denomination blazed a trail by electing the first openly gay bishop.
President Barack Obama celebrated LGBT Pride Month with a reception on June 24 in the East Room at the White House. The event is an annual invitation-only celebration.
The following are the remarks the president delivered at about 5:15 p.m.:
With a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage expected any day now, gay couples in states with bans are making wedding plans, courthouse officials are getting ready for different scenarios and steadfast foes are working on their strategies to keep up the opposition.
Marriage license bureaus are bracing for a rush of applicants if the court overturns bans. Meanwhile, there's been a series of planning sessions by groups that intend to explore religious objection responses to protect "traditional marriage" limited to heterosexuals.