20 Equality Quotes That Are Beautiful & Inspiring

It's easy to see why everyone is talking about love in the wake of the Supreme Court's recent same-sex marriage decision (even Justice Kennedy talked about love in his majority opinion, which is quickly becoming the most viral Supreme Court text ever). Now that same-sex marriage bans have been ruled unconstitutional, there are definitely a lot of happy feelings at play. But, at the end of the day, government isn't really about regulating or respecting people's emotions, it's about establishing citizens' equal rights under the law. And as these quotes about equality show, pride is about more than love. It's about ensuring all Americans get to exercise the same fundamental rights.

So basically you don't have to be some sappy, dewy-eyed love promoter to appreciate what happened here. As always, if you don't like same-sex marriage, then you don't have to get one. Otherwise, if you continue to object to gay marriage as a legal matter, it basically means that you are OK with the government playing favorites with tax breaks and so on. This year's Pride celebrations stood in recognition of rights that were already deserved by the LGBTQ community as equals, that are just now being legally recognized.

1. "They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right." — Justice Anthony Kennedy

2. “Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.” — Thomas Paine

3. “I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.” — Theodore Roosevelt

4. “Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it." — Frances Wright

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5. “Equality and freedom are not luxuries to lightly cast aside. Without them, order cannot long endure before approaching depths beyond imagining.” — Alan Moore

6. “In prayer all are equal.” — Rumi

7. “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.” — Milton Friedman

8. “It takes no compromise to give people their rights... it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.” — Harvey Milk

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9. “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.” — Abraham Lincoln

10. "A man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right." — Ayn Rand

11. “The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.” — Aristotle

12. “I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being — neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.” — Malcolm X

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13. “The Pledge of Allegiance says 'liberty and justice for all'. Which part of 'all' don't you understand?” — Pat Schroeder

14. "As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don't think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, 'I'm probably no better than you, but I'm certainly your equal.” — Harper Lee

15. “Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” — John Locke

16. “Rights mean you have a right to your life. You have a right to your liberty, and you should have a right to keep the fruits of your labor....I, in a way, don’t like to use those terms: gay rights, women’s rights, minority rights, religious rights. There’s only one type of right. It’s the right to your liberty.” — Ron Paul

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17. “The humanity of all Americans is diminished when any group is denied rights granted to others.” — Julian Bond

18. "The Constitution is colorblind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” — John Marshall

19. "Equality lies only in human moral dignity. ... Let there be brothers first, then there will be brotherhood, and only then will there be a fair sharing of goods among brothers.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky

20. “The prescription of the equality of human beings is not a description of an alleged actual equality among humans: it is a prescription of how we should treat human beings.” — Peter Singer

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