Let’s rehash that above blog headline for just a moment before wading into the details of last Friday’s momentous high-court ruling on same-sex marriage in the United States.

Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court outcome announced last week directly and materially affects every state in the union. It can certainly be said, though, that its impact falls especially hard on Arkansas and the 12 other states that were steadfastly holding out against gay marriage within their borders pursuant to state bans outlawing the practice.

Those bans are now just words without legal teeth, with the ruling issued by the country’s preeminent judicial authority legalizing same-sex unions in all 50 states.

Although all rulings issued by the U.S. Supreme Court are material and weighty, of course, some seem to be particularly noteworthy and of fundamental importance to the country at a deep level.

Same-sex marriage would certainly appear to qualify on that score, with an article from the New York Times following the court’s ruling noting the “decades of litigation and activism” marking the long journey of gay unions from widespread disapproval to ultimate legality.

Although the judicial victory was of course sweet to many millions of gay-rights supporters across the country, it would have been more satisfying still had the court weighed in with unanimity on the matter.

That was flatly not the case, with the tribunal splitting along liberal/conservative lines that resulted in a 5-4 vote.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy authored the majority opinion, noting that the Constitution provided the plaintiffs in the case before the court with the “equal dignity in the eyes of the law” that they were seeking.

Source: The New York Times, “Supreme Court ruling makes same-sex marriage a right nationwide,” Adam Liptak, June 26, 2015