United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch released a statement on the occasion of the historic Supreme Court's decision legalizing marriage equality nationwide in Obergefell v. Hodges today:
“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States has recognized the equality, dignity and essential humanity of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and reaffirmed this country’s bedrock principle – engraved over the entrance to the Court itself – that all Americans are entitled to equal justice under law. By putting an end to an era of state-sanctioned discrimination, the decision lights the way to a future of acceptance, inclusion and opportunity for gay and lesbian Americans and their families. It encapsulates a nation’s enormous leap of understanding – rooted in compassion, tolerance and empathy – and reflects the countless hearts touched and minds opened along the way. It vindicates an idea whose time has come at last.
Today’s result would not have been possible without the passionate advocacy and innumerable acts of personal bravery of generations of leaders, who have fought for the simple freedom to pursue their own happiness with those whom they love. Their fight, galvanized by the Stonewall riots nearly a half-century ago, was waged in the face of pervasive bigotry and widespread resistance and its progress was never guaranteed. But after too many lifetimes of isolation, humiliation and harassment – and steeled by unimaginable courage and indomitable conviction – gay and lesbian citizens across the country bravely came out into the open and awakened the conscience of a nation. Their courage has led us to this day; to a decision from the nation’s highest court declaring them to have full and equal rights to marry in the country they fought to change; and to a victory that they have justly and finally won.I have no illusions that Obergefell v. Hodges spells the end of anti-gay prejudice.Difficult legal issues lie ahead and the protections written into law are not all they should be. That’s why this march must go on and why this cause will endure, until all Americans – regardless of sexual orientation – are afforded the equal rights, equal treatment and equal opportunity they deserve. But on a day like today – a day that marks a watershed moment in the progress of this movement, in the story of this community and in the history of this nation – it is proper that we pause and take stock of just how far we have come. The Justice Department is proud to have been a part of this journey, from Attorney General Eric Holder’s unwavering leadership in advancing the cause of equality to the groundbreaking progress we have witnessed today. Going forward, we are committed to standing on the side of equality – and standing with the LGBT community – to keep up the fight for safety, opportunity, dignity and justice for all.”