no union is moreprofound than marriage, for it embodies the highestideals of love , fidelity, devotion, sacrificd and family. In forming a marital union , two people become something greater than once they wer

As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marrisge embodies 

a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men

and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that  

they do repect it, respect so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment

for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness

excluded froom one of civilizatiobs oldest institutions. They ask for

equal dignity in thes eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that