The Supreme Court of the United States made a landmark 5-4 justice ruling to deem same-sex marriage a Constitutionally-protected right, and it’s unsurprising that the announcement caused passionate reactions on both sides. Even within SCOTUS, the Supreme Court justices disagreed on the decision.
Of the lengthy opinions written by the justices — one majority and four dissenting opinions — two specific comments have become the most shared. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who penned the majority ruling, wrote the one most positively received. (Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer supported the decision.) The last paragraph in the ruling reads:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
People largely supported this comment online, even causing the term “Justice Kennedy” to trend nationwide on Twitter.
On the other side of the argument is Justice Clarence Thomas, along with Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scali and Chief Justice John Roberts. All four wrote arguments against the same-sex marriage decision. But it’s a section of Thomas’ opposing argument that has started a stir on social media, causing his name to trend on Twitter like Kennedy’s, but for largely negative reasons.
The section he’s come under fire for reads:
“The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”
Many did not agree with his assertions on dignity.
While the comments within the Supreme Court’s decision have caused strong reactions, it’s telling that the top United States Twitter trend is #LoveWins, the hashtag President Barack Obama used in his first tweet after the ruling. Ultimately, that is the overriding response to the announcement gay marriage is legal in America.