Legal analyses of the recent US judgment in Obergefell v Hodges on same-sex marriage
Our recent weekly round-up reported that last week, the US Supreme Court handed down judgment in Obergefell v Hodges 576 US ___ (2015), and by five votes to four, the Court held that the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment oblige all states to provide for same-sex marriage and to recognise same-sex marriages granted in other states. The majority conclusion was:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfilment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.”
We have indicated on a number of occasions that US law is not really within our area of expertise, but in view of our significant readership in the United States and those in the UK for whom this is an area of major interest, we have collated a number of links to the many legal analyses that have been made of the judgment over the past few days.
- Steve Sanders: Symposium: Sometimes it takes unelected Justices, not the political process, to give Americans the law they really want, 26 June 2015.
- Judith Schaeffer: Symposium: The Constitution has everything to do with it , 26 June 2015.
- Ryan Anderson: Symposium: Judicial activism on marriage causes harm: What does the future hold?, 26 June 2015.
- Chris Green: Symposium: “Oh, well, we know better”, 26 June 2015.
- David Upham: Symposium: A tremendous defeat for “We the People” and our posterity, 26 June 2015.
- Michael Dorf: Symposium: In defense of Justice Kennedy’s soaring language, 27 June 2015.
- Kyle Duncan: Symposium: Overruling Windsor , 27 June 2015.
- Paul Smith: Symposium: A fair and proper application of the Fourteenth Amendment, 27 June 2015.
- Erwin Chemerinsky: Symposium: A landmark victory for civil rights, 27 June 2015.
- Mark Walsh: A “view” from the Courtroom: A marriage celebration, 26 June 2015.
- Lyle Denniston: Opinion analysis: Marriage now open to same-sex couples , 26 June 2015.
- Amy Howe: In historic decision, Court strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage: In Plain English, 26 June.
Religion Clause, Howard Friedman
- Supreme Court Says States Must License and Recognize Same-Sex Marriage– A Review of Justice Kennedy’s Majority Opinion, 26 June 2015.
- The Dissents In Today’s Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decision, 26 June 2015.
- Commentary: Justice Kennedy’s Equal Protection Analysis In Obergefell, 28 June 2015.
- Texas AG, Critical of Obergefell, Issues Opinion On Religious Accommodation For Clerks and Judges, 29 June 2015.
In the light of the law, Dr Edward Peters
- Two thoughts re the Supreme Court decision on ‘same-sex marriage’, 26 June 2015
- WordPress and the art of ‘In Your Face’, 26 June 2015.
- What The Patriot-News doesn’t understand about democracy would choke a horse, 27 June2015.
- Antonin Scalia as the measure of how far we have to go, 29 June 2015.
- Obergefell and canonical criminal law, 2 July 2015
Fr Z’s blog, (formerly: What Does The Prayer Really Say?)
Religion Law Blog, Neil Addison
- US Supreme Court – Same Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom, 27 June 2015.
- US Supreme Court – Same Sex Marriage Judgment, 27 June 2015.
Matthew Flinn, UKHRB
Neil Foster, Law and Religion Australia
Other reaction to judgment
In addition to the above legal analyses, Anglican Mainstream has posted a frequently updated list of other reactions to the judgment, US Supreme Court rules gay marriage is legal nationwide 5-4; Likewise, this post will be updated.