“Love just won,” read President Obama’s Facebook post on Friday, June 26. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court made the United States the 17th country to legalize same-sex marriage.
The decision, in correspondence with the 14th Amendment, requires the 13 states that had not yet supported gay marriage to recognize marriages that have previously been performed in the other 37.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy represented the majority winner, writing: “No longer may this liberty be denied. 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.”
The news traveled quickly, with Snapchat filters, brand logos, and social media platforms showing their support. Kennedy’s words have since gone viral. Famed Star Trek alum and avid same-sex marriage supporter George Takei said checking Facebook after the legalization “was as if 1,000 unicorns had eaten nothing but skittles.”
While the LGBTQA+ community has not finished its fight, this ruling marks a page in the history books. Supporters of the decision are gathering for pride parades and equality celebrations across the country.
In our own neck of the woods, St. Petersburg’s St. Pete Pride Parade now has even more reasons to celebrate this Saturday, June 27. The free event begins with a block party at 5pm and a parade at sunset between 22nd Street and 27th Street along Central Avenue.
This past April, the UT community displayed its own form of support in hosting an event called “Let’s Talk Equality” where students could present artistic media involving their own personal views of equality. Film and media arts major Daniela Serricchio, who has since graduated, debuted a compilation of interviews with homosexual couples. She asked the couples about their struggles and why marriage matters to each of them.
“…I had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time… I really wanted to challenge myself and to explore the fact that I really love hearing peoples’ stories no matter how crazy or ridiculous they may seem and at the end of the day, we’re all the same,” Serricchio said. “At the end of the day, we love who we love. That’s what it’s all about here on planet Earth…It just broke my heart, we were all just crying but it was just a great time. It was just a wonderfully intimate moment with people we don’t really know. It’s all about respect and love.”
Despite the expected criticism in response to the decision, many people see this change as a testament to exactly what Serricchio said: “…respect and love.”