Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Verdict

Publication Date

4-28-2015

Abstract

Today, April 28, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the biggest case of the term, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which it will weigh in on the controversy over same-sex marriage that has raged for more than twenty years.

The case is actually four cases, each arising from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit: Obergefell v. Hodges (Ohio), Tanco v. Haslam (Tennessee), DeBoer v. Snyder (Michigan), and Bourke v. Beshear (Kentucky). In each case, a federal district court invalidated the applicable state ban on celebration of marriages by same-sex couples, a ban on recognition of those marriages, or both. All four rulings were overturned on appeal by the Sixth Circuit—the only federal appellate court to date to rule against the right to marry for same-sex couples. The Supreme Court consolidated the four cases and rephrased the questions they presented. It agreed to answer the following questions:

Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state?

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