On June 26, 2015, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a decision that many have fought for and anticipated for decades: the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide. In the 5-4 split decision, the court decided that the Constitution does indeed guarantee the right to marriage for all Americans.
The ruling marks an incredible victory for LGBT communities all over the country who have faced staunch opposition on marriage equality for generations. Speaking for the court's majority, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote "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... They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
In his response to The Supreme Court ruling, President Obama called the decision a "victory for America," but also recognized the long, hard-fought battle activists, advocates, and organizers have had to endure on this issue, noting that the journey to equality often comes "in small increments."
Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004. Since that time, 35 other states, along with the District of Columbia, all passed similar laws. Texas has long upheld its ban on gay marriage, but, in February 2015, Travis County issued the state's first same-sex marriage license to a lesbian couple in Austin. Founding attorney Michelle O'Neil provided the local media continuous legal insight on that case and helped forecast the greater, nationwide changes in same-sex marriage law that were to come.
Marriage is a cornerstone of the family law practice area and comes with its own set of joys, milestones, challenges, and complications. O’Neil Wysocki P.C. congratulates and celebrates with the LGBT community on their Supreme Court victory and the long-overdue recognition of their right to marry. We look forward to further expanding our work to help all families, couples, and individuals of greater Dallas with their family law goals.