Justice

The Marriage Equality Ruling Proves Exactly Why We Need More Women In Charge

On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a right protected by the Constitution across the entire nation. In a response to this ruling, Vinicius Vacanti, co-founder and CEO of Yipit and YipitData tweeted the following:

Of course, one could easily argue that there could have been three conservative women on the Supreme Court or that there could have been three liberal men in their places.

However, that was not the case. Today's victory for marriage equality could not have been accomplished in this particular court without the three female justices, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elana Kagan, who made up the majority of the majority opinion.

At the forefront of these arguments for marriage equality was one woman in particular: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg has a history of speaking out in favor of marriage equality. She made her feelings known several times this year prior to the ruling. In fact, Justice Ginsburg has also officiated several same-sex weddings. During one such wedding in May of 2015, she emphasized the word "constitution" during the vows, according to a report from the New York Times' Maureen Dowd. Some took those words as a hint about the coming decision that was passed down today.

In February of 2015, in an interview with Bloomberg, Ginsburg discussed the American public's increasing acceptance of the LGBT community. She stated the following:

“The change in people’s attitudes on that issue has been enormous. In recent years, people have said, 'This is the way I am.’ And others looked around, and we discovered it’s our next-door neighbor -- we’re very fond of them. Or it’s our child’s best friend, or even our child. I think that as more and more people came out and said that ‘this is who I am,’ the rest of us recognized that they are one of us.”

Indeed, a recent Pew poll found that 57 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage. However, there is also an important gender gap among these statistics. Pew reports that 60 percent of women while only 53 percent of men encompass this majority. In other words, women are more likely to champion LGBT equality, which speaks to why we need more of them in leadership positions.  

This previous April, during the oral arguments for the historic case that was decided Friday, Ginsburg eviscerated the lawyers arguing against same-sex marriage rights, making bold points about the changing definition of marriage over the years:

"We have changed our idea about marriage is the point that I made earlier. Marriage today is not what it was under the common law tradition, under the civil law tradition. Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female. That ended as a result of this Court's decision in 1982 when Louisiana's Head and Master Rule was struck down. And no State was allowed to have such a ­­ such a marriage anymore. Would that be a choice that a State should be allowed to have?"

And Friday, of course, Ginsburg joined Justices Stephen Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Kennedy to rule in favor of marriage equality, changing the course of history.