“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 judgement for the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.”
And then I burst into tears. Not because I’m gay or lesbian–but because of the immense and profound kindness, understanding, and compassion that Justice Kennedy’s words had summed up.
This is all about equality–a value that is utterly fundamental to my worldview in so many ways–and today it was expressed–against great opposition for many, many years–in a beautiful passage.