this Court is not only moved by the logic that the fundamental right to marry is a personal right to be exercised by the individual, but also rejects Defendants’ contention that concepts of history and tradition dictate that same-sex marriage is excluded from the fundamental right to marry.
We specifically hold that the fundamental right to marry as protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution encompasses the right to marry a person of one’s own sex.
[T]he fact that some forms of discrimination against gay people have ceased or become less prevalent does not change the fact that lesbian and gay people continue to live with the legacy of a long history of discrimination that created and reinforced the belief that they are an inferior class.
That same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection. Were that not so, ours would still be a racially segregated nation according to the now rightfully discarded doctrine of “separate but equal.” In the sixty years since Brown v Board of Education was decided, “separate” has thankfully faded into history, and only “equal” remains. Similarly, in future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage.
We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.
— John E. Jones III, US District Judge, ruling in Whitewood v. Wolf