U.S. Supreme Court Requires All States to Grant Same-Sex Marriages

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court came to a 5-4 decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, declaring that the Fourteenth Amendment requires every state to both grant and recognize same-sex marriages.

According to the case syllabus, the following is now upheld:

“The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty…The State laws challenged by the petitioners in these cases are held invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples. Pp. 22–23”

The vote was narrow, but it will now lift same-sex marriage bans in the 14 states that still had them.

This ruling affects the following states:

  • Arkansas
  • Alabama
  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • South Dakota
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Michigan
  • Louisiana
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Most of Missouri

With this new decision, same-sex couples are now able to be married no matter where they live. President Barack Obama has called it “justice that arrives like a thunderbolt” and within hours of the decision becoming public, county clerks were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in numerous states throughout the country.

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