Respond to this post in 250 words with one bluebook citation. From a legal standpoint, do you agree or disagree with the ruling? Why or why not? Remember to support your answers. Cite all sources in Bluebook format.
The laws which prohibit same-sex marriages from occurring within their state, as well as those laws which seek to ignore those marriages lawfully conducted in other states is a violation of the United States Constitution. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that “no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The liberties which are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment are liberties which are “central to the individual dignity and autonomy” of a person.
Further, society’s opinions of same sex intimacy as well as laws governing same sex intimacy have changed since the 1950’s. At one point, any type of same sex intimacy was illegal and was taboo. This is reflected in the fact that for most of the 20th Century homosexuality was treated as an illness.
One of the first cases in which the Court detailed the legal status of same sex individuals was “Bowers v. Hardwick.” While “Bowers v. Hardwick” criminalized same sex intimacy, this case is seen as one of the first cases which the Court assessed the rights of same-sex individuals. This case, as well as laws criminalizing same sex intimacy, was ultimately overturned in “Lawrence v. Texas.”
The fact that certain States sought to ban same sex marriage, or ignore those lawful marriages which occurred in other states is contradictory to other laws pertaining to same sex marriage. For example, States have allowed the adoption of children by same sex couples. By not allowing these same sex couples to marry, the children, who were lawfully adopted, may face stigmatization or other types of psychological conflict.
An additional point of consideration is in marriage itself. Marriage, at one point, was a union between two individuals but brokered by the couple’s parents. As society advanced, so has the foundation of marriage. The inclusion of same sex marriages is a natural progression of marriage.
The State laws which prohibit same sex marriage are not dissimilar to the miscegenation laws that were prevalent in many States prior to the landmark decision of “Loving V. Virginia.” In fact, this case was often cited in many cases which sought to legalize same sex marriages, including “Obergefell V. Hodges.” In the case of Loving V. Virginia, a bi-racial couple from Virginia sought marriage in Washington D.C. Upon returning to their home state of Virginia they faced arrest and prosecution due to the fact that Virginia law did not “recognize” same sex marriages. Laws which seek to prohibit bi-racial marriages and same sex marriages are foundationally similar and are clear violations of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, due to the fact being dissimilar, the Court needed to rule on a case which was specific to same sex marriage.
The majority opinion in “Obergefell V. Hodges” is consistent to what was determined in Loving V. Virginia. Additionally, I agree with the ruling for a number of reasons. The Fourteenth Amendment is clear on the fact that one’s rights should not be deprived. The fact that the Supreme Court Justices commented on the fact that the liberties protected under the Fourteenth Amendment are “central to individual dignity and autonomy”is fundamental to the spirit of the Constitution.
Further, States that disallow or fail to recognize lawful same sex marriages from other States create a second tier status. The Federal Government and State Governments allow specific benefits to a married couple. These benefits include “taxation, inheritance and property rights, legal protections, right of survivorship” among many others. Without the decision in Obergefell V. Hodges, a same sex couple would have varying rights depending on which state they were currently occupying.