Reagan aides foresaw Justice Kennedy's gay-rights views that conservatives now lament

But CQ’s review of documents in the Reagan Library in California found the president’s aides identified “disturbing aspects” in Kennedy’s record. Foremost among them: Kennedy’s actions in a gay rights case.

Kennedy on Friday cast the deciding vote and wrote the majority opinion in the same-sex marriage case, an opinion that vindicates both the fears of Reagan’s advisers about Kennedy and the liberal forces that opened the path to his nomination all those years ago.

Kennedy’s opinion ends with a description of same-sex couples seeking the profound union of marriage like love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. 

“Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions,” Kennedy wrote. “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”