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Sat Jun 26, 2021, 07:10 AM

On this day, June 26, 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges was decided.

June 26 is sort of an unofficial Gay Day at the Supreme Court.

Lawrence v. Texas was decided on June 26, 2003.

United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry were decided on June 26, 2013.

Obergefell v. Hodges was decided on June 26, 2015.

Not only that, but on June 26, 1969, patrons of Greenwich Village's Stonewall Inn were losing their patience.

Back to Obergefell.

Obergefell v. Hodges

Supreme Court of the United States
Argued April 28, 2015
Decided June 26, 2015

This case overturned a previous ruling or rulings
Baker v. Nelson (1971)

Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 (2015) (/ˈoʊbərɡəfɛl/ OH-bər-gə-fel), is a landmark civil rights case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 54 ruling requires all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Insular Areas to perform and recognize the marriages of same-sex couples on the same terms and conditions as the marriages of opposite-sex couples, with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities.

Between January 2012 and February 2014, plaintiffs in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee filed federal district court cases that culminated in Obergefell v. Hodges. After all district courts ruled for the plaintiffs, the rulings were appealed to the Sixth Circuit. In November 2014, following a series of appeals court rulings that year from the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits that state-level bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, the Sixth Circuit ruled that it was bound by Baker v. Nelson and found such bans to be constitutional. This created a split between circuits and led to a Supreme Court review.

Decided on June 26, 2015, Obergefell overturned Baker and requires all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other jurisdictions. This established same-sex marriage throughout the United States and its territories. In a majority opinion authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court examined the nature of fundamental rights guaranteed to all by the Constitution, the harm done to individuals by delaying the implementation of such rights while the democratic process plays out, and the evolving understanding of discrimination and inequality that has developed greatly since Baker.

Prior to Obergefell, same-sex marriage had already been established by law, court ruling, or voter initiative in thirty-six states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.


Opinion of the Court

On the morning of June 26, 2015, outside the Supreme Court, the crowd celebrates the Court's decision.





The White House illuminated in rainbow colors (which appear on the gay pride flag) on the evening of the ruling

James Obergefell, the named plaintiff in Obergefell who sought to put his name on his husband's Ohio death certificate as surviving spouse, said, "Today's ruling from the Supreme Court affirms what millions across the country already know to be true in our hearts: that our love is equal." He expressed his hope that the term gay marriage soon will be a thing of the past and henceforth only be known as marriage. President Barack Obama praised the decision and called it a "victory for America".

Plaintiffs Jimmy Meade (Left) and Luke Barlowe (Right) celebrate at Lexington Pride Festival, Lexington, Kentucky, on the day after the Obergefell ruling.

Hundreds of companies reacted positively to the Supreme Court decision by temporarily modifying their company logos on social media to include rainbows or other messages of support for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Jubilant supporters went to social media, public rallies, and Pride parades to celebrate the ruling. Media commentators highlighted the above-quoted passage from Kennedy's decision as a key statement countering many of the arguments put forth by same-sex marriage opponents and mirroring similar language in the 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia, which abolished bans on inter-racial marriages, and the 1965 decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which affirmed married couples have a right of privacy. The paragraph was frequently repeated on social media after the ruling was reported.

In 2015, due to the ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy and the other justices of the Supreme Court were chosen as The Advocate's People of the Year.


Opponents of the decision protest before the steps of the Supreme Court, June 26, 2015.

Conversely, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the Court's decision a "lawless ruling" and pledged free legal defense of state workers who refuse to marry couples on religious grounds. In a tweet, former Governor of Arkansas and then Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election Mike Huckabee wrote, "This flawed, failed decision is an out-of-control act of unconstitutional judicial tyranny." Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group that opposes same-sex marriage, accused the Court's majority of undermining freedom of speech, saying that "five lawyers took away the voices of more than 300 million Americans to continue to debate the most important social institution in the history of the world. . . . Nobody has the right to say that a mom or a woman or a dad or a man is irrelevant." Some, such as the National Catholic Register and Christianity Today, raised concerns that there may be conflict between the ruling and religious liberty, echoing the arguments made by the dissenting justices.

On May 4, 2017, Republican Governor of Tennessee Bill Haslam signed HB 1111/SB 1085 into law. The bill was seen by the Human Rights Campaign as an attempt to challenge Obergefell v. Hodges.


Subsequent cases

{Snip a whole bunch of important cases that I just don't have the time to link to.}

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Reply On this day, June 26, 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges was decided. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 2021 OP
JT45242 Jun 2021 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Sat Jun 26, 2021, 07:52 AM

1. Theocrats today still...

Don't understand that marriage is primarily a function of governing and taxation.

They can choose to not condone gay marriage and bar their clergy from performing the ceremonies.

Of course, most people find that reprehensible and will leave those denominations. Denominations like the disciples of Christ,UCC, and many other mainline denominations will gladly welcome those families.

Of course, the theocrats ignore that no recorded utterance from Jesus in canon or apocrypha denounces gays. He hits divorce and adultery pretty hard, but nothing against homosexuality.

Denominations that stay silent where the bible is silent, accept our gay brothers and sisters.

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