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Questions about the legal treatment of gays and lesbians soon reached the courts, where they could be discussed in the formal discourse of the law. Numerous same-sex marriage cases reaching the federal courts and state supreme courts have added to the dialogue. This abiding connection between marriage and liberty is why , at 574.In 2003, this Court overruled its 1986 decision in , 570 U. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation.A second principle in this Court’s jurisprudence is that the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals. Without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers, children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser.The intimate association protected by this right was central to , 268 U. They also suffer the significant material costs of being raised by unmarried parents, relegated to a more difficult and uncertain family life.The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity. Marriage is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm. There are untold references to the beauty of marriage in religious and philosophical texts spanning time, cultures, and faiths, as well as in art and literature in all their forms. To them, it would demean a timeless institution if the concept and lawful status of marriage were extended to two persons of the same sex.The petitioners in these cases seek to find that liberty by marrying someone of the same sex and having their marriages deemed lawful on the same terms and conditions as marriages between persons of the opposite sex. Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. This wisdom was echoed centuries later and half a world away by Cicero, who wrote, “The first bond of society is marriage; next, children; and then the family.” See De Officiis 57 (W. It is fair and necessary to say these references were based on the understanding that marriage is a union between two persons of the opposite sex. Marriage, in their view, is by its nature a gender-differentiated union of man and woman.Later in the century, cultural and political developments allowed same-sex couples to lead more open and public lives. (1) The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed. 810, a one-line summary decision issued in 1972, holding that the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage did not present a substantial federal question. (2) Four principles and traditions demonstrate that the reasons marriage is fundamental under the Constitution apply with equal force to same-sex couples.Extensive public and private dialogue followed, along with shifts in public attitudes. (b) The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. Applying these tenets, the Court has long held the right to marry is protected by the Constitution. But other, more instructive precedents have expressed broader principles. This analysis compels the conclusion that same-sex couples may exercise the right to marry. The first premise of this Court’s relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.

Petitioner James Obergefell, a plaintiff in the Ohio case, met John Arthur over two decades ago.These new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution.Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.in effect, upheld state action that denied gays and lesbians a fundamental right. The petitioners are 14 same-sex couples and two men whose same-sex partners are deceased.Though it was eventually repudiated, men and women suffered pain and humiliation in the interim, and the effects of these injuries no doubt lingered long after was overruled. The respondents are state officials responsible for enforcing the laws in question. The first, presented by the cases from Michigan and Kentucky, is whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex.

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