Leaders of San Diego’s gay and lesbian community hailed Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that upholds the right of people of the same-sex to marry.
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, expressed relief at the Obergefell v. Hodges decision and called it an “emotional day.”
“We feel admiration for the couples and the advocates who have fought for marriage equality through election after election and court after court, never giving up,” said Atkins, a lesbian who is married to her partner.
“And we feel pride in a movement that has helped inform public opinion and bring about justice in what, historically, is a relatively swift period of time,” Atkins said. “But most of all, we feel joy for every couple in every state who now have the opportunity to share their lives with the respect, dignity and legal protections that marriage brings.”
Delores Jacobs, CEO of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, said this is a pivotal day in civil rights history and a life-changing moment for gays and lesbians.
“After decades of struggle attempting to gain the freedom to marry, this decision rightly makes equal recognition of marriage a matter of settled law throughout our nation,” Jacobs said.
“In this moment, we remember with deep gratitude the bravery of hundreds of early trailblazers who dared to live their lives openly and to love bravely and to have the hard conversations,” Jacobs said. “We also are so thankful for the hundreds of thousands of people who have given their time, energy, creativity and dollars to fuel and sustain this movement.”
A celebration at the center in Hillcrest was scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Todd Gloria, a gay member of the San Diego City Council, said love and justice prevailed in the 5-4 ruling.
“The court’s decision makes it unequivocally clear that all Americans are free to marry the one they love, and I thank all of those in the LGBT community and our allies who have fought so hard, shared their stories, and struggled to help us reach this point,” Gloria said “Civil rights were extended to more Americans today,” he said. “This will ensure that same-sex couples are recognized at the state and federal level for critical issues including healthcare decision-making and tax and inheritance determinations, and Social Security and Veterans spousal benefits.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy, frequently the swing vote on social issues, wrote in the majority opinion that “no union is more profound than marriage,” and that the U.S. Constitution provided the right to marry.
In a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said the constitution was silent on the matter.
—City News Service
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