Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) is known as the same-sex marriage case since it legalized same-sex marriage on a federal level in the United States. Each earlier case dealt with the harm suffered by same-sex couples as a result of their inability to access the institution of marriage...
The Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges established that the basic freedom to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. The court based its decision on the fundamental right to marry, which it described as including the right to have that marriage recognized by all states and the federal government.
The court also ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. It rejected arguments from proponents of gay exclusion that allowing same-sex marriages would harm heterosexual couples by taking away their right to marry or be married in another state. The court said this argument ignored the fact that same-sex couples could marry in any number of other states if they were denied access to Ohio or any other jurisdiction that banned such unions.
Obergefell was argued before the court on March 5, 2015, and decided five months later on August 4. A total of eight opinions were filed in the case.
It's easy to take for granted the right to marry, but it's not a right that exists under the Constitution. In fact, there is no specific provision in the Constitution that guarantees the right to marry. However, through the due process clause, the court found that banning same-sex marriage violates the fundamental right to marry.
In Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex marriage is protected under the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. As a result, same-sex marriage prohibitions were declared unconstitutional.
The court based its decision on the concept of substantive due process, which says that laws can't be arbitrary or irrational in the sense that they don't have a legitimate purpose. In this case, the court said that denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marry cannot be considered a reasonable means of advancing a legitimate government interest. Instead, it found that such discrimination was merely motivated by hatred or intolerance.
The court also relied on the concept of procedural due process, which says that individuals must be given notice and an opportunity to be heard before they can be deprived of their life, liberty, or property interests. In this case, the court held that since same-sex couples are entitled to marry in several states, including California, then they should be allowed to do so nationwide. The court also noted that since most states allow for some form of divorce, then same-sex couples should be allowed to obtain a divorce too.
Finally, the court concluded that since gays and lesbians are protected under the equal protection clause as a class of people who are denied many fundamental rights granted to heterosexuals, then they should be treated equally before the law.
In Hodges, the United States Supreme Court declared (5–4) on June 26, 2015, that state restrictions on same-sex weddings and recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions are unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment's due process and equal protection sections. The court ruled 5–4 that the fundamental right to marry does not extend to same-sex couples.
Obergefell was a case about marriage equality. The plaintiff, Mr. Hodges, argued that banning his marriage violated his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause and the First Amendment's Free Exercise of Religion Clause. The majority held that gay men and women have a constitutional right to marry.
In a dissent joined by Roberts, Alito, and Thomas, Justice Scalia wrote that the court's decision was contrary to "text, structure, and history" and violated the Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom. He also said that it was an error for the court to use the Due Process Clause as a vehicle for redefining the meaning of marriage. In addition, he criticized what he called the court's "judicial activism" in reaching its conclusion.
Scalia's dissent pointed out that states have always had the authority to define marriage as they see fit. Furthermore, he argued, the Constitution does not protect homosexual behavior because it was not considered criminal at the time it was adopted.
Hodges v. Obergefell The plaintiffs, lead by Jim Obergefell, who sued because he couldn't put his name on his late husband's death certificate, claimed that the regulations violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses. They also argued that the ban on same-sex marriage violated the Ninth Amendment's guarantee of individual rights. Finally, they asserted that gay marriage was a fundamental right for which no legitimate justification existed.
Obergefell v. Hodges In June 2013, the Supreme Court ruled 5–4 that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where such unions are legal. The court found that the Constitution requires all states to license and recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
Writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the Constitution guarantees the right to marry, and this right extends to same-sex couples. She noted that previous cases had established that there is a fundamental right to intimate sexual relations within the bounds of marriage, and she concluded that this right extends to same-sex couples as well.
In a dissent joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito argued that the court's decision violates the Constitution's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.