Marriageequality emsack

Last Friday, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-to-4 vote that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. We asked local Sarasotans to weigh in on the SCOTUS' decision. (Marriage equality has been in place in Florida since January of this year.)

“[Equality Florida] worked so long and hard for this. Our goal was clear: to have same sex marriage legal across the country in all 50 states, and it happened. I’m excited because now gay couples are going to be treated the same across the country, [but] there’s a need to get additional nondiscrimination legislation in place [because with this ruling] we’re only equal with respect to marriage.” --Ken Shelin, Equality Florida

"We’re pleased that the court addressed the matter and that there no longer is a discrepancy between one jurisdiction and another. We welcome everyone who wants to get married--come to the clerk’s office, apply and get your license!" --Karen Rushing, Sarasota County Clerk of Court

"The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to grant that marriage is allowed between people of the same sex comes as no surprise. The Catholic Church has always considered the family--rooted in marriage between a man and a woman--as the foundation of a healthy society. It must be remembered that all cultures throughout time have seen marriage as between men and women. Nothing the court says can change what marriage truly is and the Church will continue to promote and defend it.” --The Diocese of Venice

"Since Florida began marriage equality in February, [my wife and I] were finally able to marry after 10 years together. I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop and for marriage equality to be repealed by the state, but the [federal ruling makes] it feel more permanent. Additionally, I'm thrilled that we will now have our marriage recognized in Texas this weekend when we visit our nephew. If something were to happen to one of us requiring hospitalization on our trip, Texas is one of the states that wouldn’t have recognized us as spouses and could have prevented us from being there for one another." --Andrea Rankin-Magee, sales manager at Superior Bearing and Supply

"I had a tear in my eye reading the final paragraph of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion about how much same-sex couples respect the institution of marriage. I never thought I’d see such rapid change in attitude and law in my lifetime. Now I am curious to see what kinds of efforts opponents will make to limit or repeal the impact of this ruling, and how they will further try to blur the lines between church and state." --Jay Handelman, theater and TV critic, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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