This morning, following the historic Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, District 4 Supervisor Ken Yeager proudly raised the rainbow flag above the County Government Center.
Yeager, a longtime advocate for LGBTQ rights, was “filled with joy and gratitude over the court’s ruling,” he shared in a statement from his office.
He officiated the first legal same-sex marriage in the county in 2008, and then again in 2013 after Proposition 8 was overruled. In 2007, he also pushed for, and achieved, equally priced ceremonies in the county’s wedding chapel, after discovering price discrimination against commitment ceremonies.
Unlike Justice Scalia—whose laughable dissent likened the majority opinion to “the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie”—there are no sour grapes around City Hall. Numerous San Jose politicos have joined Supervisor Yeager in commending and celebrating the 5-4 decision.
“The Supreme Court has finally delivered on a long overdue obligation of our Constitution to the millions of our brothers and sisters who seek legal sanction for their personal life commitments,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement. “There are few human rights so core to our being, or so worth protecting.”
Liccardo is a member of Mayors for Freedom to Marry.
Assemblyman Evan Low—sworn in six years ago as the nation's youngest Asian American openly gay mayor before election to the state legislature—said the 5-4 ruling finally puts the country on the right side of history.
“The U.S. Supreme Court ruling is a victory and celebration for all who stand for equal justice and equal opportunity," Low said. "The California Supreme Court has already allowed same-sex marriage in our state, and this morning's ruling just reaffirms the hope and promise that all people could marry. This is a great day in the country and today, we stand on the right side of history. Love is love.”
“It’s a banner day for equality in America,” Anna Eshoo, Congresswoman for California’s 18th District, added in an announcement. “Today our nation has taken a giant step forward to make good on the words of our pledge of allegiance, ‘with liberty and justice for all.’”
San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra also praised the decision via Twitter.
48 yrs ago inter-racial marriage bans were outlawed. Now, our LGBT sisters & brothers finally have same freedom to marry. Happy! #LoveWins
— Ash Kalra (@Ash_Kalra) June 26, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who came out as gay last fall, took to Twitter to say how the decision "marks a victory for equality, perseverance and love."
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 26, 2015
Social media lit up with celebratory tweets, status updates and rainbow memes.
“Facebook is a proud supporter of pride and the LGBTQ community,” the company said in a statement.
In celebration of the decision, and LGBTQ Pride Month, the social media giant launched an optional rainbow filter for profile pictures. They further shared that 6 million of their members in the United States identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender or gender non-conforming.
Amidst the celebration, Eshoo also noted that attention must not fade from the issue.
“Our work, however, is not yet complete to bring full rights to the LGBT community," she said. "We must continue to fight for the full protections long overdue to LGBT Americans, who can still be fired for who and what they are.”
The congresswoman called for a civil rights bill to address this inequality.
In another coup for equal rights, on June 16, the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved funding for an Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Affairs, the third such in the nation. The initiative has been praised by local LGBTQ activists and leaders, and hiring for the office will begin in July.
"For those eager to celebrate, a rally organized by the Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee, a bi-partisan LGBTQ political action group, will be held at San Jose City Hall tonight at 6pm. Marriage licenses are available today at the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office until 4:30pm. Just be glad Justice Scalia won’t be officiating.