Richard Branson: It is time for the US to finally allow same-sex marriage

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PinkNews Exclusive
Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson has spoken ahead of the anticipated imminent ruling of the US Supreme Court, to say it is time for the US to move on and allow gay couples to marry.

The Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson told PinkNews it is “time for the US to move forward” ahead of the Supreme Court ruling, which could come as soon as today.

The highest court in the US has until Tuesday to issue its ruling on the issue, afterhearing ‘mega-case’ Obergefell v. Hodges.

The Supreme Court does not advertise in advance which days it will announce decisions on, leaving the international media waiting for the ruling.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder told PinkNews today: “It is not for any government (or anyone else) to cast judgement on people’s sexuality. Globally, 19 countries have passed laws to allow same-sex marriage and it’s time for the U.S. to move forward too.

“At Virgin we treat everybody with the same respect, whatever their gender or sexuality. We should all celebrate when people commit to loving relationships that strengthen society.”

The nine Supreme Court justices are attempting to resolve a ‘split’ in lower courts on the issue – and as such could decide on the issue once and for all for the entire country.

When the court does rule, the decision may not be as clear as ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on same-sex marriage – as it is simultaneously trying to settle whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, and whether states are required to recognise marriages from elsewhere.

This means that a tight ruling from the court could lead to one of three potential situations: same-sex marriage is found to be a constitutional right, and is legalised everywhere; same-sex marriage is not found to be a constitutional right, but all states must recognise them; or same-sex marriage is not found to be a constitutional right, and states are able to enforce bans if they want to.

Given the same nine justices reached a 5-4 ruling in favour of equality in 2013’s United States v Windsor, which found parts of the Defence of Marriage Act unconstitutional, LGBT activists are hopeful for one of the first two outcomes.