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The cases before the court involved laws from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.Those states have not allowed same-sex couples to marry within their borders and they also have refused to recognize valid marriages from elsewhere.Coulpe Mish Teichner, on left, and Barb Morrrissey far right hugs their friend Lenora Reyes-Petroff, in center, while they wait outside Clerk of the Superior Court in Phoenix, Friday, October 17, 2014, in order to get marriage licenses.A group of clergy are ready to marry couples outside the Pima County Superior Court House on Oct. (From left) Delle Mc Cormick, Diane Dowgiert, Owen R. Katherine Harrison, 37, right, and Jennifer Shelton, 35, speak with the media after obtaining their marriage license on Friday, Oct.David Larance and Kevin Patterson were joined by Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey after getting their licenses.Two couples were among the first in line after a federal judge ruled that Arizona must allow same-sex couples to marry.
David Larance, one of the first couples, rejoices with his adopted children after receiving marriage licenses minutes after gay marriage was legalized in Arizona come out of the Clerk of the Superior Court all smiles in Phoenix, Friday, October 17, 2014.
The stories of the people asking for the right to marry "reveal that they seek not to denigrate marriage but rather to live their lives, or honor their spouses' memory, joined by its bond," Kennedy said.
The four dissenting justices each filed a separate opinion explaining their views, but they agreed that states and their voters should have been left with the power to decide who can marry."This court is not a legislature.
Just two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law that denied a range of government benefits to legally married same-sex couples. Windsor did not address the validity of state marriage bans, but courts across the country, with few exceptions, said its logic compelled them to invalidate state laws that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying.
The number of states allowing same-sex marriage has grown rapidly.
The first two couples to receive marriage licenses minutes after gay marriage was legalized in Arizona come out of the Clerk of the Superior Court all smiles in Phoenix, Friday, October 17, 2014.