Even the White House lit up in rainbow colours on Friday, June 26th, in celebration of the US’s Supreme Court ruling to legalise same-sex marriage. This momentous decision allowed same-sex couples to marry nationwide, a historic victory for gay rights activists not just in the US but all over the world.
Nearly 46 years ago, the modern gay rights movement was established, after a riot at New York’s Stonewall Inn. Now, 46 years later, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced the ruling, through his opinions on fundamental values of love and equality. “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family,” he wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were”.
So far, the response from the American people has been overwhelming. In Washington DC, hundreds gathered outside the Supreme Court on Friday, waving the US flag and their own rainbow coloured flags, chanting: “USA!” On social media, people all around the world showed their support for the Supreme Court’s ruling. For example, Facebook offered users a rainbow filter on their profile pictures, causing more than 26 million people worldwide to use it, showing their support. Twitter also added rainbow-coloured emojis to the hashtags #Pride (rainbow flag) and #LoveWins (rainbow heart).
Earlier this year, in Dublin, Ireland, voters chose to change their constitution in favour of same-sex marriage as well. The official results were announced May 23rd, where over a million people voted in favour of same-sex marriage legalisation, while 700000 voted against it. Ireland became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through popular vote.
Now, all eyes are on Australia, as a cross-party bill on marriage equality is reportedly coming before Federal Parliament on August 18. However Prime Minister Tony Abbott has so far been opposing same-sex marriage in Australia, saying that “the government’s got plenty of troubles without this one coming along”.
For the rest of the world, it still remains to be seen if same-sex marriages will be legalised.
Wen Shuen (3S)