Case update Obergefell v. Hodges, US (June 26, 2015), was decided in the United States Supreme Court. It presented the question whether the 14th Amendment required a state to issue a license for marriage between two people of the same sex. The answer is YES. The old doctrine of “coverture” is the doctrine that said that once a couple became married they were to be recognized as one legal, male-dominated entity. This case has been instrumental to changing the definitions of what marriage should be. Marriage has gone from one based on political, religious, and a means of financial conerns which was a marriage arranged by parents to a voluntary contract between a man and a woman. Then women began to change society’s view of what marriage should be and what a woman’s role in marriage should be. This paved the way for same-sex couples to receive recognition of their constitutional rights to receive legal marriages in the United States. Now the case Obergefell has come onto the scene and the timing was ripe for its decision. In 2003, the first state to recognize same-sex marriage was Massachusetts when it’s Supreme Court decided that their state constitution guaranteed that right. In 2013, the US Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act to the extent that the Federal Government could treat same-sex marriage as invalid when they were lawful in the state that issued the license. This led to the idea that same-sex couples held Constitutional Rights that protected them to wed. Marriage is a personal choice central to a person’s identity and beliefs. The Court cited there were four fundamental reasons same-sex couples should be able to enforce their Constitutional Rights to marry.
1. Marriage is a personal right. The Court cites through marriage individuals can find other freedoms such as expression, intimacy and spirituality.
2. Marriage supports a two-person union which is important to individuals who are committed to each other.
3. Marriage safeguards children and families.
4. Marriage is the keystone of our social order.