LIVING

This Last Beautiful Paragraph Says Everything About Marriage

06/27/2015 02:11 EDT | Updated 06/27/2015 08:59 EDT
MLADEN ANTONOV via Getty Images
People hold balloon letters reading 'Love wins' in front of the White House lightened in the rainbow colors in Washington on June 26, 2015. The US Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay marriage is a nationwide right, a landmark decision in one of the most keenly awaited announcements in decades and sparking scenes of jubilation. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

The majority opinion in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which gave Americans the right to same-sex marriage, ends with this paragraph that sums up everything there is to say about marriage. The law can be so beautiful.

  • No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.
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  • In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.
    Tom Williams via Getty Images
  • As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.
    Yana Paskova via Getty Images
  • Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.
    Bill Clark via Getty Images
  • Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions.
    Bill Clark via Getty Images
  • They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.
    PAUL J. RICHARDS via Getty Images
  • The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
    The Washington Post via Getty Images
  • It is so ordered.
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