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U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage

ringsinvitationresizeThe U.S. Supreme Court today in a 5-4 vote legalized same-sex marriage across the nation.

At issue in Obergefell v. Hodges was whether the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause required states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan.

Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, criticizing the majority for side-stepping the democratic process of allowing each state to decide for itself the issue of same-sex marriage. Justices Thomas, Scalia and Alito joined in dissenting.

Today’s decision comes two years after the high Court’s 5-4 ruling in June 2013 in United States v. Windsor, which struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage – for purposes of a multitude of federal laws and programs – as a union between a man and a woman.

The Illinois legislature gave final approval on Nov. 5, 2013, to Senate Bill 10, which changed the state's definition of marriage from "between a man and a woman" to "between two persons.”  The law went into effect on June 1, 2014, but was implemented sooner in several counties.

The Catholic Conference of Illinois issued a statement upon final passage of Senate Bill 10. Since then, the Conference does not feel compelled to comment on same-sex marriage because the issue is settled in our state of Illinois and in our nation.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement on today’s Supreme Court ruling, which can be read here.

Additionally, some of the bishops in Illinois issued statements on today’s decision, and are listed below:

Statement of Archbishop Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Statement of Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of the Diocese of Joliet

Statement of Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria

Statement of Bishop David J. Malloy of the Diocese of Rockford

Statement of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield-in-Illinois