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Justice Kennedy's Last Paragraph Sums Up Court's Decision On Same-Sex Marriage

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Throughout our program, we're also covering the landmark decision by the Supreme Court making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There were four dissents written in today's ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

CORNISH: The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. We're going to end this hour with the concluding words from the court's decision.

MARTIN: (Reading) 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.

CORNISH: It continues, (reading) 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.

MARTIN: (Reading) 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. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.