Making Love Legal in St. Louis

St. Louis Jewish Light magazine published an article following the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage, saying that is a moment not only for the LGBT community to celebrate and savor, but for all American who favor equal rights for all of their fellow citizens.

Justice-Anthony-Kennedy-Featured-1“Marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.”

— Justice Anthony Kennedy, in his majority opinion upholding same-sex marriage

In a victory for human rights as historic and dramatic as Brown v. Board of Education, which struck down segregated public schools back in 1954, the United States Supreme Court last Friday, by a 5-4 vote, ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutionally protected right to marry anywhere in the United States. The decision, for which Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, had the immediate effect of striking down bans in Missouri and a dozen other states that still have laws banning same-sex marriage.

The timing of the ruling could not have been better for the LGBT community, which was in the midst of celebrating Pride Month, including PrideFest last weekend here in St. Louis (see related story on Page One). Gay and lesbian couples already had the legal right to marry in some 37 states, and the Supreme Court ruling means that same-sex couples could formalize their loving relationship with a legal marriage in all 50 states.

The overwhelming majority of the Jewish community, nationally, statewide and locally, has been in favor of marriage equality for decades. There continues to be opposition within the Orthodox Jewish community based on a reading of the bans enumerated in the Book of Leviticus. Orthodox Jews and others within the Jewish community who do not support same-sex marriage of course have the right to their opinions, as do other religious groups.

Other public figures in politics and religion have embraced the historic same-sex marriage ruling. Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk sharply differed from most of his Republican colleagues in his response.  He said, “As Americans, we believe in human rights, civil rights and dignity. Today’s ruling recognizes our gay friends, family members and neighbors are deserving of the same right to commit to the one they love.”  Rev. Mike Kinman of the Christ Church Cathedral sounded the bells of his church, and said, “Not only do we celebrate, but we think this makes God dance.”

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