“Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support.
Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, and family.
Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.
It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a “civil right”. Without the right to choose to marry, one is excluded from the full range of human experience.”