The United States Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the country's constitution provided same-sex couples the right to marry, giving a historic triumph to the gay rights movement. With the landmark verdict, gay marriage has become legal in all 50 states of the US.
Hours after the SC's verdict, Twitter user Chris Lacroix - a writer by profession who lives with his husband Rollin - posted a photo of his nine-year-old daughter that went viral, getting around 40,000 re-tweets and 66,000 favourties.
Lacroix, a stay-at-home dad living in Los Angeles, California, with Rollin and their adopted daughter Ellie, told Hindustan Times in an email interview the apex court verdict would "actually save lives".
While many praised the Supreme Court's ruling, others have voiced their disapproval. The conservative Family Research Council expressed outrage, saying "no court can overturn natural law." Several conservatives including the governors of Texas and Louisiana and religious groups called for legal protections for those who wished to avoid any involvement in same-sex marriages.
Reacting over the criticism of the court, Lacroix said: "Same-sex marriage is opposed by so many because people in the US are afraid of anything that is different... I think opposition to same-sex marriage is discrimination, but it's born of fear... The only 'natural law' I know of is to love your fellow man."
He also said it was a silly to equate same-sex marriages with polygamy, a comparison many say would open the doors for acceptance of the latter in society after the Friday verdict. "That's a silly argument used by people who are scared of gay men and women, and want to come up with whatever they can to raise fear in others," the former marketing executive said.
US President Barack Obama said on Friday the court ruling "made our union a little more perfect." Hundreds of gay rights supporters celebrated outside the courthouse with whoops and cries of "U-S-A!" and "Love is love" as the decision came down.
Watch: White House lit up in rainbow colours
"A great benefit of this decision is that we can now put the issue to rest and tackle bigger issues like gun control and race relations," Lacroix said.
Here is the full transcript of the interview.
HT: The US Supreme Court has made same-sex marriage legal throughout the nation. What was your first reaction? How will the verdict affect you and your family members' lives?
Lacroix: When I heard the verdict, I was stunned. I wasn't expecting a positive outcome. Then I thought, "I have to tell my daughter!" She was as surprised as I was and immediately asked about Texas. We talk about politics a lot and, even at 9 years old, she knows Texas is conservative.
HT: While many have praised the ruling, others have voiced disapproval. The conservative Family Research Council expressed outrage, saying "no court can overturn natural law." What do you have to say about it?
Lacroix: The only "natural law" I know of is to love your fellow man. The Supreme Court's verdict confirms this.
HT: US Chief Justice John Roberts has also voiced dissent, saying the court was making a decision better left to the elected state legislatures. Do you think the decision should have come from the court?
Lacroix: Yes, the decision needed to come from the Supreme Court. This is not a question of states' rights, or for state legislatures. This is a question of human rights. That sort of question belongs squarely with our Supreme Court.
HT: Many say the gay identity is dimming, overtaken by its own success. Your thoughts?
Lacroix: Gay identity is not dimming. Gay people are finally coming into their own. It's thrilling. But at the same time, "gay identity" confuses me. I identify as human.
HT: How and why will same-sex marriage benefit the US? How do you think it will change the way the society handles the issue?
Lacroix: I believe that recognition of same-sex marriage will actually save lives. Too many young gay people are filled with shame and self-loathing -- this decision is a huge step in reducing the cultural bias against gay people, and confirming to gay people that they are equal. I also think that a great benefit of this decision is that we can now put the issue to rest and tackle bigger issues like gun control and race relations.
HT: Why do you think same-sex marriage is opposed by many? Would you call it discrimination?
Lacroix: Same-sex marriage is opposed by so many because people in the US are afraid of anything that is different. Yes, I think opposition to same-sex marriage is discrimination, but it's born of fear. The more that gay people are able to live their lives openly and without discrimination, the more accepting the US is likely to be. That's one reason this decision is so great.
HT: There is also an argument the same-sex marriage verdict will mean people will push discussions on polygamous relationships. What are your thoughts?
Lacroix: I think it's nonsense to equate same-sex marriage with polygamy. That's a silly argument used by people who are scared of gay men and women, and want to come up with whatever they can to raise fear in others. The decision today is about allowing two people who love each other to recognise their love and commitment through marriage - nothing more and nothing less.