Jun 26

Supreme Court Holds Constitution Guarantees Right to Same-Sex Marriage

 On June 26, 2015 the United States Supreme Court held in Obergefell v. Hodges  that the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage.  The Court found that the fundamental liberties protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment include the “personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices that define personal identity and beliefs.” Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, found that the protection of this fundamental liberty, the freedom to marry, requires all states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when that marriage was lawfully licensed outside the state.

The dissenting opinions of Justices Roberts,  Scalia, Thomas, and Alito focused on three particular issues that represent legal quagmires likely to be the subject of future litigation and political debate: whether religious organizations that choose to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation can maintain tax-exempt status; whether private churches or individuals are obligated to perform same-sex marriages; and adoption by same-sex couples.

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