Yesterday, the 26 June 2015, will be remembered as a momentous day in the history of the United States of America. It marked the day that the USA became the twenty-first country - and, indeed, the world's most populous country - to recognise same-sex marriage.
The Supreme Court - in Obergefell v. Hodges, which could well be the most important civil rights case of this generation - ruled 5-4 yesterday that the US Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. This means that the 14 states with complete bans on same-sex marriage will no longer be able to enforce them. The decision was the culmination of decades of activism and litigation by the gay rights movement, and was met with scenes of jubilation from coast to coast.
I am utterly delighted about this victory for human equality, dignity, and love in the United States; yet I also feel that it is a shame that even in the 21st century, we find ourselves celebrating a superpower’s (long-overdue) legal recognition that equality and tolerance is preferable to bigotry and discrimination.
I’m proud that my own home country (South Africa) was way ahead of the USA in this regard, and was in fact the first country in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The crowd outside the court – indeed, across the country – erupted in joy after the ruling was handed down, with many longtime campaigners crying tears of joy and embracing their partners.