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The Equal Protection Clause Does Not Require States To License Same-Sex Marriages

The Equal Protection Clause Does Not Require States To License Same-Sex Marriages

The BriefGet Up To Speed

The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides: '€œNo State shall '€¦ deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'€

And now, the Supreme Court is poised to answer the question of whether this Clause requires States to license marriages between two people of the same sex. The best guess is that the Court will decide the question in late June. Does the Equal Protection Clause require States to license same-sex marriages, or will they decide that marriage should be between a man and a woman?

FOR

A preview of the written arguments that have been filed in the same-sex marriage cases at the Supreme Court: Part II covers the briefs of the four states in defense of their state bans. <a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/04/preview-on-same-sex-marriage-part-iv-s... target="_blank">Part IV</a> covers the briefs filed by individuals and organizations supporting the states’ authority to control the definition of marriage, and, in particular, to prohibit same-sex marriage.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Lyle Denniston

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Gene Schaerr and Ryan T. Anderson

The Supreme Court is about to decide if the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution requires the states to redefine marriage to include same sex relationships. There are several reasons why the answer is no.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Frank Turek

Not every policy that is unwise or even unjust is unconstitutional.

Monday, March 25, 2013
Jonathan H. Adler

It is beyond belief that the Congress which passed the 14th Amendment, and the states which voted to ratify it, intended to enshrine the marriage of a man to a man, and a woman to a woman, as a "constitutional right."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Steve Byas

By hearing arguments for same-sex marriage as a potential Constitutional “Right" under the 14th Amendment the Supreme Court is taking the Equal Protection Clause out of context.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Walker Wildmon
AGAINST

In this preview of the written arguments that have been filed in the same-sex marriage cases at the Supreme Court, Part 1 covers the briefs of the couples who are challenging the state bans. <a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/04/preview-on-same-sex-marriage-part-iii-... target="_blank">Part III</a> covers the briefs filed by individuals and organizations supporting the couples’ challenge to the states’ bans.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Lyle Denniston

Constitutional protections cannot be undone by popular vote.

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Brianne J. Gorod

Opponents of marriage equality are not going down without a fight. And that is a major reason the court needs to resolve, finally, the question it has been dodging for more than four decades: Is there a constitutional right to same-sex marriage?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
The Editorial Board

Essentially, the Equal Protection Clause means, in 1868 as in 2015, exactly what it says: states cannot have one set of laws for the rich and another for the poor, separate schools for white and black students, or marriage licenses only for opposite-sex couples.

Sunday, March 8, 2015
Ilya Shapiro

While Obama said the high court "was not quite ready" to "indicate an equal-protection right across the board," he personally believes same-sex marriage is protected under that clause.

Monday, October 20, 2014
Paige Lavender

This article will build on courts' treatment of same-sex marriage litigation to develop an argument that the sex equality guarantees located in the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause support same-sex marriage.

Sunday, September 1, 2013
Justin Reinheimer

To put abstract federalism concerns before equal protection is to put the constitutional cart before the horse, and to misunderstand the underlying purposes of American federalism to begin with.

Friday, March 29, 2013
Eric Ryan
IN THE SUPREME COURT

The Supreme Court will rule on whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed out-of-state and to grant same-sex marriage licenses.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Legal Information Institute

Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Supreme Court of the United States

Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Supreme Court of the United States

An overview of the current Supreme Court cases on same-sex marriage, including summaries, SCOTUSblog coverage, and an interactive timeline featuring briefs and arguments.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
SCOTUSblog

The Court heard two-and-a-half hours of oral argument regarding same-sex marriage today. We’ve condensed that into thirty-six minutes of the most interesting and informative questions and answers.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Tejinder Singh

At the oral arguments on same-sex marriage, the questioning illuminated the justices’ conflicting views on history, tradition, biology, constitutional interpretation, the democratic process and the role of the courts in prodding social change.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Adam Liptak

The actual outcome of the case known as Obergefell v. Hodges could well depend upon how the Court answers three core constitutional issues. Each by itself, in fact, could be decisive: Who decides? What right is at issue? What is the constitutional test?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Lyle Denniston

The same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court pose one of the most direct constitutional questions to arrive in years: Does the 14th Amendment, which guarantees “equal protection” and “due process” of law, forbid states from treating gay couples differently than heterosexual ones?

Friday, January 16, 2015
Jess Bravin
LEGAL OVERVIEW

An overview of the general constitutional principles, legal precedents, and the current circuit and Supreme Court positions on state same-sex marriage bans.

Friday, January 30, 2015
Rodney M. Perry

The Equal Protection Clause of the <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv" target="_blank">14th amendment</a> of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Legal Information Institute

America's political bible doesn't refer to sexual orientation and it says nothing at all about marriage. So how are gay and lesbian couples in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee staking their claim to a constitutional right to marry in the case that will come before the Supreme Court on April 28th?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
The Economist

The constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans may be determined by a relatively dry legal issue: the level of scrutiny that laws which differentiate on the basis of sexual orientation should receive under the 14th Amendment.

Monday, January 19, 2015
Brett Parker

A state-by-state history of same-sex marriage laws in the U.S.

Thursday, March 19, 2015
National Conference of State Legislature
RELEVANT COURT DECISIONS

In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether a state violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by defining marriage solely as the union of a man and a woman. Read the <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/12-144" target="_blank">court’s opinion</a>.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Legal Information Institute

In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment. Read the <a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-307_6j37.pdf" target="_blank">court’s decision</a>.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Legal Information Institute

In this case, the Supreme Court ruled on whether adult, consensual homosexual intimacy violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Legal Information Institute

In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that Amendment 2 of Colorado’s State Constitution, forbidding the extension of official protections to those who suffer discrimination due to their sexual orientation, violated the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Legal Information Institute

Baker v. Nelson had begun when Richard John Baker and James Michael McConnell, a gay couple, applied to a court clerk in Minneapolis, Gerald R. Nelson, for a marriage license.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Lyle Denniston

In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that Virginia's statutory scheme to prevent marriages between persons solely on the basis of racial classifications violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Legal Information Institute