Obergefell v. Hodges
|Obergefell v. Hodges|
|Court||Supreme Court of the United States|
|Date decided||June 26, 2015|
|Appealed from||6th Circuit|
|Reaffirmed||Zablocki v. Redhail|
|Cited||Loving v. Virginia|
James Obergefell & his partner John wanted to marry. John was wheelchair-bound & terminally ill. At the time, they lived in Ohio where same-sex marriage was banned. Therefore, they married in Maryland where same-sex marriage was recognized.When John passed away, Ohio upheld its same-sex marriage ban. Ohio state officials refused to list James as John's surviving spouse on the death certificate.
Obergefell & 13 others sued the officials of the state of Ohio for the ban on same-sex marriage.Obergefell loses at the 6th Circuit.
1. Does the 14th Amendment require states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?2. Are states required to recognize lawful out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples?
Marriage is key to
- tax benefits
- inheritance benefits
- evidentiary privileges
- medical decision-making authority
Clarence Thomas dissented by noting that the Due Process Clause (DPC) doesn't provide a basis for creating new substantive rights.Antonin Scalia noted that the ruling was un-democratic because the majority of Americans in 2015 rejected same-sex marriage. He called the majority opinion "a threat to American democracy."
The United States Constitution prohibits states from denying same-sex couples the right to marry.Same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all the states of the United States.