The establishment of same-sex marriage was a big step towards equality for members of the LGBTQ community. It was a landmark decision made by the Supreme Court in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). As an experienced Arlington, TX family lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can explain, in many countries, same-sex couples are denied the same rights and benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy, including the right to marry, adopt children, and access spousal health insurance benefits.
James Obergefell and John Arthur James pursued legal action against the state of Ohio for refusing to recognize same-sex marriage on death certificates. They filed this lawsuit because John Arthur suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an incurable terminal illness. Judge Black granted a temporary restraining order. This order required the state to recognize the marriage of Mr. Obergefell and Mr. Arthur on Mr. Arthur’s death certificate.
Two months later the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, which incorporated two new plaintiffs. The plaintiff sought for the court to make a declaration stating that Ohio’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage performed in other states was unconstitutional. Judge Black ruled on behalf of the plaintiff under the reasoning that Ohio’s refusal violates the parties’ due process and equal protection rights. Judge Black also prohibited the State from enforcing the ban on recognizing same-sex marriage. In 2014 Obergefell filed a Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court, which was granted in 2015. The Supreme Court heard the case and decided that the 14th Amendment requires all states to license marriages between same-sex couples.
Opponents of same-sex marriage argue that marriage has always been between a man and a woman and that changing the definition of marriage would undermine the institution of marriage and traditional family values. Some will go as far as to say they should not be permitted to adopt children, as they believe that a mother and father are needed for a healthy upbringing. There are still 67 countries that have national laws criminalizing same-sex relations. The legalization of same-sex marriage is a step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go in order to achieve global equality for the LGBTQ community.
It is my opinion and many others that to deny same-sex couples the right to marry would be a violation of their civil rights. Marriage is a fundamental human right and a liberty guaranteed by the due process clause of the 14th amendment. This liberty should not be denied regardless of sexual orientation. The privilege to love who you love should not be infringed upon by the government.
Due to the recent legalization of same-sex marriage, there are some problems that arise when discussing divorce. Typically marital property starts accruing at the beginning of the marriage and is split 50-50 upon divorce. This could be different for some same-sex couples. Some couples had domestic partnerships because marriage was not yet legalized but after Obergefell v Hodges, they then were able to get married. If these couples get divorced, courts could vary on when their marital estate began to accrue. Some states allow common-law marriages wherein couples only have to pass cohabitation requirements rather than have marriage ceremonies. Courts may vary in how to divvy up the property upon divorce for these cases as well.
The lack of LGBTQ rights has been an issue within their movement for quite some time. The establishment of same-sex marriage is a great thing and should be incorporated within legal systems around the world. If the LGBTQ movement continues to push for equality other countries may follow in the footsteps of the U.S. Equality has not yet been achieved but we are headed in the right direction.