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Finally, this Court’s cases and the Nation’s traditions make clear that marriage is a keystone of the Nation’s social order. It is demeaning to lock same-sex couples out of a central institution of the Nation’s society, for they too may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage. (3) The right of same-sex couples to marry is also derived from the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.
The petitioners’ stories show the urgency of the issue they present to the Court, which has a duty to address these claims and answer these questions. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press. Petitioners filed these suits in United States District Courts in their home States. Citations to those cases are in Appendix A, , 772 F. The Court of Appeals held that a State has no constitutional obligation to license same-sex marriages or to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of State. This Court granted review, limited to two questions. II Before addressing the principles and precedents that govern these cases, it is appropriate to note the history of the subject now before the Court.See Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.The petitioners, 14 same-sex couples and two men whose same-sex partners are deceased, filed suits in Federal District Courts in their home States, claiming that respondent state officials violate the Fourteenth Amendment by denying them the right to marry or to have marriages lawfully performed in another State given full recognition. (1) The history of marriage as a union between two persons of the opposite sex marks the beginning of these cases.Respondents’ argument that allowing same-sex couples to wed will harm marriage as an institution rests on a counterintuitive view of opposite-sex couples’ decisions about marriage and parenthood. (c) The Fourteenth Amendment requires States to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed out of State. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES _________________ Nos. A From their beginning to their most recent page, the annals of human history reveal the transcendent importance of marriage.Finally, the First Amendment ensures that religions, those who adhere to religious doctrines, and others have protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths. Since same-sex couples may now exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States, there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character. 14–556, 14-562, 14-571 and 14–574 _________________ JAMES OBERGEFELL, delivered the opinion of the Court. The lifelong union of a man and a woman always has promised nobility and dignity to all persons, without regard to their station in life.
These new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution.