Thanks to the wisdom of five U.S. Supreme Court justices, the sexual revolution has won its most important victory. By affirming the “equal dignity” of same-sex marriage, the Court held that the significance of matrimony transcends the traditional religious purpose of procreation. As Justice Anthony Kennedy noted for the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.”
Admittedly, not everyone who engages in sex needs or desires to get married. The point is that sexual activity should be judged by a standard which is both more complex and individualized than the intolerant dictates of the world’s major religions, and the laws they inspired, would ever permit.
Until quite recently in American history, any sexual interaction that did not potentially lead to the fertilization of an egg cell was branded as illegal sodomy. Even a married male-and-female couple could be prosecuted for engaging in consensual oral or anal sex.
Although many states began eliminating sodomy laws, homosexuality wasn’t widely legalized. With its 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Georgia law that criminalized sodomy involving same-sex adults in private.