ROSELLE/ROSELLE PARK, NJ - In a landmark 5-4 decision on Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can now marry nationwide, including in the 14 states that have banned it.
The ruling gives same-sex couples the right to be recognized on official documents, such as birth and death certificates and have the same rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples.
Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the four liberal justices in ruling for the decision and wrote the majority opinion. In it, he said, "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 ruling broke along with liberal/conservative lines. All four of the conservative justices wrote their own dissents. Justice Antonin Scalia called the decision a “threat to American democracy.”
President Obama commented from the White House, saying, "Americans should be very proud because small acts of courage slowly made an entire country realize that love is love."
Locally, Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau stated, “It’s a great day in our country when we recognize the importance of equality for everyone.”
Former Roselle Park Mayor Joseph DeIorio commented, “Today is a historical moment in American history, it is a culmination of decades of struggles for the LGBT community to be recognized that we can have loving and committed relationships. Those relationships can be recognized by law as marriages not as a second-class status. No longer is our marital status and the rights that come with them as American citizens determined by state boundary lines.”
DeIorio went on to say, “It’s something that I would not have believed would have happened in my lifetime but now it's a reality.”