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U.S. Supreme Court declares gay marriage legal nationwide

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision that gay marriage is now legal throughout the U.S.

The sweeping ruling clears up years of confusion around a patchwork of state laws both banning and allowing same-sex marriages.

Read the historic opinion here.

The justices ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, which is linked to three other cases, including Michigan’s case DeBoer v. Snyder.

The four cases include 12 couples who challenged same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. These states had gay-marriage bans that were kept in place by a federal appeals court.

(Go here to see a timeline on how the DeBoer/Rowse case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

Here is how the justices ruled on the two questions before the court:

1) Does the Constitution require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?


2) Does the Constitution require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?


Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse wanted to jointly adopt their children. The State of Michigan argued they couldn't because they were not married. The couple challenged the ban on gay marriage. The Supreme Court justices ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges, which is linked to three other cases, including Michigan’s case DeBoer v. Snyder.

The couple behind Michigan's case, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, held a press conference in Ann Arbor at noon today.

If you want to hear a “super-cut” version of the arguments the nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court heard in this historic case, ScotusBlog has you covered.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder issued the following the statement following the ruling:

“Same-sex marriage has been a divisive issue in Michigan and across our country. Recognizing that there are strong feelings on both sides, it is important for everyone to respect the judicial process and the decision today from the U.S. Supreme Court. Our state government will follow the law and our state agencies will make the necessary changes to ensure that we will fully comply. Let’s also recognize while this issue has stirred passionate debate, we now should focus on the values we share. With this matter now settled, as Michiganders we should move forward positively, embracing our state’s diversity and striving to treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

Michigan Attorney General, who fought to preserve Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage, issued this statement:

“We will honor, respect and uphold the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. We are appreciative that a decision finally has been reached in this very significant issue.”

Jack Lessenberry shared his thoughts on today's ruling and how people are reacting with Zoe Clark. Listen below:

For more reaction on today's ruling, see this post.

You can also follow reactions to the ruling on Twitter:

#SCOTUSMarriage Tweets

*This post will be updated.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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