Marriage- redefined

The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Restrictions as to who can marry based on Gender are Unconstitutional.

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Obergefell v. Hodges, as of today, a Landmark case in U.S. History has determined that States cannot restrict marriage to only persons of the opposite sex.

A summary of the analysis, held, in part:

“Four principles demonstrate that the [right to] marriage [applies] with equal force to same-sex couples.

 First…the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy… marriage and liberty is why Loving invalidated interracial marriage bans under the Due Process Clause. See 388 U. S., at 12. Decisions about marriage are among the most intimate that an individual can make.  This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation.

Second…the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals…Same-sex couples have the same right as opposite-sex couples to enjoy intimate association, a right extending beyond mere freedom from laws making same-sex intimacy a criminal offense. See Lawrence, supra, at 567.

Third…protecting the right to marry…safeguards children and families …and the related rights of child-rearing, procreation, and education. See, e.g., Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U. S. 510. Without…marriage…children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser. …The marriage laws at issue thus harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples. See Windsor, supra, at ___.

Fourth… marriage is a keystone of the Nation’s social order. See Maynard v. Hill, 125 U. S. 190, 211. States have contributed to the fundamental character of marriage by placing it at the center of many facets of the legal and social order. There is no difference between same and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle… The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest. Pp. 12–18. (3)

The right of same-sex couples to marry is also derived from the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.

Arguments that allowing same-sex couples to wed will harm marriage as an institution rests on a counterintuitive view of opposite-sex couples’ decisions about marriage and parenthood. ..the First Amendment ensures that religions, those who adhere to religious doctrines, and others have protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths. Pp. 23–27. (c)

The Fourteenth Amendment requires States to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed out of State. Since same-sex couples may now exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States, there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character. Pp. 27–28.”

Commentary:

If you are otherwise eligible to marry, a restriction based purely on gender will not prevent you from marrying. Mississippi is getting more change than I think she cares to get, but same-gender marriage is now the law of the land. This is truly not a surprising result. 

Also, the third point is precedent to allow same-gender adoption.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi, admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, and predicts an increase in Family Law cases soon.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or  Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.

4 thoughts on “Marriage- redefined”

  1. And having so decided, in spite of what was noted in the dissents that this overrides the democratic process on this issue, and is contrary to the history of marriage and its original purposes, the net effect will be to degrade the respect for a court which has already suffered significant degradation, and preserve this issue for ongoing debate for decades, given that the respect the public affords the Supreme Court on social issues is next to non existent.

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