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.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.
Justice Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, in what is one of the finest pieces of writing on the subject of love I have ever seen.
There has been the predictable spewing of bile from the usual suspects about how this is an attack on Christianity. It is not. I write gay romance for many reasons, but one of them is this: I consider it my duty as a Christian to make life better for my fellow men and women, and one of the ways I can do that is to use my straight privilege to place a picture of LGBTQ love in front of my fellow straights. A picture of people who are just as deserving of their Happy Ever After. Each of my books was a drop of water to help wear away a stone, and if even one of those drops helped someone see their gay neighbour as just their neighbour, I can sit content in church tomorrow knowing that I have indeed loved my neighbour as myself. And there are many, many churches who today and tomorrow and the day after and for years to come will celebrate the fact that they can now celebrate their parishioners’ legal as well as spiritual commitment to one another.
The usual suspects may call themselves the voice of Christians, but they do not speak for me. Justice Kennedy speaks for me. And may his words be quoted in marriage services up and down the land.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (1 Corinthians 1:1–3)