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Obergfell v Hodges Case Analysis
Historical Background and the Issue Argued
Same-sex marriages have been a subject of debate in the U.S. for decades, and the
Obergfell v. Hodges case illustrates the gravity of the issue. Before the Case, about 70% of states
in the country recognized and allowed same-sex marriages while 13 had bans on the unions
(Georgetown Law Library n.p.). Subsequently, fourteen same-gender partners and two other
plaintiffs, whose partners had since passed away, accused several states of violating the
constitution. The plaintiffs claimed that by denying them the right to marry, Ohio, Michigan,
Tennessee, and Kentucky violated the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. These local governments
considered marriage to be a union between a man and a woman. Therefore, they considered
unions between individuals of the same gender to be illegal (SCUS 7). The plaintiffs argued that
the states violated the constitution because they failed to give same-sex partners the rights that
they enjoyed in other states.
The Constitutional Question
The constitutional question in the case is whether the 14th Amendment needs states to
permit same-gender unions. Additionally, the question extends to whether the 14th Amendment
mandates states to acknowledge the same-sex marriages that were licensed in other states.
Analysis of the Decision in the Case
The court held that the 14th Amendment allows states to authorize same-gender unions
and recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states. To support the ruling, it claimed that
the decision would provide same-sex partners with privileges and responsibilities (9).
Additionally, it argued that changes in marriage have strengthened instead of weakening over
time (12). Besides, the liberties guaranteed by the amendment’s Due Process Clause entail
individual choices related to self-worth and autonomy (15...
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