The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of same-gender couples who wanted to wed in the Islamic State-inspired kingdom, upholding a 2015 ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that legalized same-day marriage.
The 9th Court had ruled in 2015 that marriage between same- and opposite-sex couple is illegal in Saudi Arabia, which has been rocked by violence since the Saudi government announced plans to recognize same- gender marriages.
The ruling also said that the Saudi kingdom does not recognize a same- sex marriage.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice, which is also handling the legal appeal, said it will continue its work with the United States and other nations to defend the law, which the kingdom considers to be in line with Islamic law.
“Today’s ruling confirms that Saudi Arabia has fully accepted the principle of religious equality,” said Muna al-Hassan, deputy general secretary of the National Council of Resistance of the United Arab Emirates, the ruling’s lead author.
The United States issued a statement Thursday expressing its disappointment and urging the government of Saudi Arabia to “ensure that all citizens in Saudi Arabian Arabia enjoy their right to marry the persons of their choice and that religious equality is protected in this country.”
It also called for Saudi Arabia “to respect the fundamental rights of its citizens in accordance with its laws and values.”