Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the four justices who ruled that same-sex marriage was not guaranteed by the Constitution, said the “dignity” of gay people should not be compared with that of other historically marginalized minorities. Friday’s ruling overturned gay marriage bans across the country, meaning gay couples could pursue marriage licenses immediately.

Thomas joined Justices Alito, Roberts and Scalia in his dissent. “The corollary of that principle is that human dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) cannot be taken away by the government,” Thomas wrote. “Slaves did not lose their dignity because the government allowed them to be enslaved.”

He continued: “Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them,” Thomas wrote. “And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.”

Read the full opinion here or below.

 

Obergefell v. Hodges