UPDATE, JUNE 26, 2:12 P.M.: In the wake of today's historic same sex marriage ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, rallies will be held in Santa Ana and Long Beach. The LGBT Center OC presents the Orange County rally at 7 p.m. in Plaza de Santa Ana, which is at the corner of Fourth and French streets in Santa Ana. Meanwhile, the LGBTQ Center Long Beach has a gathering set for 5:30 p.m. at the Civic Plaza, where Robert Garcia, the city's first openly gay mayor, was to have held a midday ceremony where he'd raise a Rainbow Pride Flag in response to the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
"Love won, freedom won and equality won," Garcia said earlier today in a City News Service report. "Millions of Americans, including myself and my longtime partner, will finally be treated equally under the law.'' He also cited Martin Luther King Jr., who said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
The Members of Congress who represent the areas of tonight's rallies also hailed the ruling. "The Supreme Court ruling today, guaranteeing an individual's right to marry who they love, regardless of sex, is an important step forward for our country and a victory for American families," said Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove), who is also a declared candidate for U.S. Senate. "Families wish their children a lifetime of love and happiness, and the government can no longer stand in their way by depriving citizens of the right to marry the loves of their lives. I joyfully welcome this affirmation that is long overdue. Equality, fairness, and most importantly, love won out today." Over in Long Beach, her Democratic colleague Rep. Alan Lowenthal said, "This is a historic day in our national journey toward ending discrimination and extending the freedom for all Americans to live, love and prosper. In their decision, the Supreme Court has upheld our nation's fundamental values of equality, fairness and diversity. Most importantly, the court has made clear that not only is marriage a 'fundamental right' that must be extended to LGBT people, but to deny it would be a violation of equal protection."
ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 26, 1:02 P.M.: As you'd expect, today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held same-sex couples can no longer be denied the freedom to marry throughout the United States has been cheered by those who have been fighting for marriage equality for years.
"Today's ruling is a transformative triumph decades in the making, a momentous victory for freedom, equality, inclusion, and above all, love. For anyone who ever doubted that we could bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice, today the United States again took a giant step toward the more perfect union we the people aspire to. Today the Liberty Bell rings alongside wedding bells across an ocean of joy.
"With the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the justices affirmed what a super-majority of Americans had come to understand: the freedom to marry is a precious, fundamental right that belongs to all, and that same-sex couples and our families share the same dreams and needs as any others." -Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry
"With today's historic ruling, the Supreme Court has sent a resounding message that the values of fairness and equal treatment are fundamental to our Constitution. Many people, including transgender people, are impacted by the legal recognition of our relationships and families and will be able to live with more safety and dignity because of today's decision. This is an incredible victory that seemed unimaginable just a few years ago. This ruling also sets an important precedent that we will build on in our legal work, helping us make the case that the discrimination that too many transgender people face every day is unconstitutional, just like discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people." -Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center
"Love has won the day over discrimination. We are delighted to see that the Court has accepted that religious dogma is not a sufficient justification for restricting the rights of Americans, and we will continue to fight to ensure not only that LGBT citizens are treated equally in all areas of the law, but also that all public policy is based on reason and science, not religious faith." -Nicholas Little, legal director of the Center for Inquiry, a nonprofit that aims to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry and humanist values.
"In resounding terms that will echo through history, our nation's highest court has affirmed the common dignity and humanity of same-sex couples. For all people in this country, including millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, today is a day to celebrate. By recognizing that the U.S. Constitution guarantees all Americans the freedom to marry and form a family with the person with whom they have chosen to share their life, the Court has brought us one monumental step closer to a nation in which everyone can live openly and authentically, without fear, harassment, or discrimination. We are grateful to the courageous couples who brought their case before the Court, and to generations of LGBT activists, leaders, and community members who worked tirelessly for decades to make this day possible." -Shannon Minter, legal director of National Center for Lesbian Rights
"Today, the Supreme Court issued a historic decision that will be remembered for generations to come affirming what Americans have come to understand: the freedom to marry is a precious, fundamental right that belongs to all of us.
"It's a proud day for our country, as this decision marks a victory for freedom, equality, inclusion, and love. As our country continues the long journey towards true and full equality for same-sex couples and other traditionally marginalized individuals and communities, this ruling is a strong reminder of the type of inclusion and equality we are capable of." -Marielena Hincapié, executive director of National Immigration Law Center
"Today, I think back to 2008, when I was finally able to marry the woman I have shared my life with for nearly 25 years. It was an incredibly joyous day and so important to us and our daughter. My heart is so full knowing all loving couples across our great nation will now be able to share in the freedom to marry. Our community owes much gratitude to the legal groups, plaintiffs, state-based organizations, and, especially, to all the couples and families who bravely shared their stories for the past several decades. I've never felt more energized to get the work done so that all Americans can be fully equal and protected under the law." -Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation
Statements were also released by plaintiffs in the cases before the high court ...
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"We are overjoyed and grateful to the Supreme Court for finally putting an end to these damaging laws that have hurt so many families in Tennessee and across the country. We are grateful to every single member of our legal team, who have worked tirelessly to take down these discriminatory laws and finally bring the freedom to marry to the LGBT community. We would also like to thank our family, friends, and neighbors in Tennessee for all their support in this amazing and historic journey." -Dr. Valeria Tanco, a plaintiff in a November Sixth Circuit Court ruling that upheld a marriage ban in Tennessee, which is overturned by today's Supreme Court ruling.
Meanwhile, the White House released this letter from Jim Obergefell, the Obergefell of Obergefell v. Hodges:
My husband John died 20 months ago, so we're unable to celebrate together the Supreme Court's decision on the case that bears my name, Obergefell v. Hodges.
Today, for the first time, any couple -- straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender -- may obtain a marriage license and make their commitments public and legal in all 50 states. America has taken one more step toward the promise of equality enshrined in our Constitution, and I'm humbled to be part of that.
John and I started our fight for a simple reason: We wanted the State of Ohio to recognize our lawful Maryland marriage on John's impending death certificate. We wanted respect and dignity for our 20-year relationship, and as he lay dying of ALS, John had the right to know his last official record as a person would be accurate. We wanted to live up to the promises we made to love, honor, and protect each other as a committed and lawfully married couple.
Couples across America may now wed and have their marriage recognized and respected no matter what state they call home. No other person will learn at the most painful moment of married life, the death of a spouse, that their lawful marriage will be disregarded by the state. No married couple who moves will suddenly become two single persons because their new state ignores their lawful marriage.
Ethan and Andrew can marry in Cincinnati instead of being forced to travel to another state.
A girl named Ruby can have an accurate birth certificate listing her parents Kelly and Kelly.
Pam and Nicole never again have to fear for Grayden and Orion's lives in a medical emergency because, in their panic, they forgot legal documents that prove both mothers have the right to approve care.
Cooper can grow into a man knowing Joe and Rob are his parents in all ways emotional and legal.
I can finally relax knowing that Ohio can never erase our marriage from John's death certificate, and my husband can now truly rest in peace.
Marriage is about promises and commitments made legal and binding under the law, and those laws must apply equally to each and every American.
Today is a momentous day in our history. It's a day when the Supreme Court of the United States lived up to the words inscribed above the front entrance of the courthouse:
Equal Justice Under Law.