The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday issued a historic 5-4 ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, sparking instant celebration and declarations of triumph, as well as reminders from many in the LGBTQ community that the road to freedom is long, and this issue is just “the tip of the iceberg.”
Friday’s Obergefell v. Hodges et. al. decision will enable marriage in the 13 states where same-sex couples are prohibited from exercising this right and strikes down restrictions on same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, declaring that any couple that wishes to marry must be allowed.
“The court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them,” Justice Anthony Kennedy declared in the majority opinion.
The ruling was met with expressions of joy and victory, including a huge celebration outside of the Supreme Court.
“Today’s ruling is a transformative triumph decades in the making, a momentous victory for freedom, equality, inclusion, and above all, love,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, in a press statement.
“Today, the Supreme Court recognized that thousands of loving, committed couples from coast to coast don’t fall into a ‘lesser than’ category because they’re comprised of two men or two women,” declared Equality California executive director Rick Zbur. “Today’s decision isn’t a victory just for those couples and their families—it’s a stunning win for all Americans who value freedom and equality.”
The decision follows a hard-fought shift in U.S. public opinion. A new poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC finds that the U.S. public strongly supports marriage equality, and among 20-year-olds, support is at 73 percent.
President Barack Obama immediately praised the ruling as a “victory for America” and “a consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up and came out, and talked to parents, parents who loved their children no matter what, folks who … [endured] taunts and stayed strong and came to believe in themselves and who they were.”
This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.