Gay Marriage in the United States

supreme court, doma, gay marriage, the United States

This page is here in order to augment an upcoming post about gay marriage. I need to store various sources I have used for research.

I am primarily focusing on the American viewpoint (but many views are often shared on an international level). This information includes religious arguments, laws, and court cases.

My thoughts on the issue (including the arguments against gay marriage) will be revealed in due time. For the purposes of this page, I will do my best to refrain from judgment while presenting the information in a scholarly way. And I would prefer that anyone who reads this page refrains from arguing here.

This page may even be expanded as I find more pertinent information.


Table of Contents

The Religious View of Gay Marriage

  • Where We Stand Now
  • What the Bible Says About Homosexuality

Laws Against Gay Marriage in the United States

  • Defense of Marriage Act
  • State Laws Banning Gay Marriage
  • Civil Unions

Pertinent Court Cases

  • Amendments at Play
  • State Court Cases
  • Supreme Court Cases

Works Cited


The Religious View of Gay Marriage

I am including this because religion forms the basis of the argument against gay marriage for many Americans, including politicians.

Where We Stand Now

In this snapshot of 16 religious groups, Pew Research Center took a look at the support and opposition of gay marriage in America.

From the looks of it the following groups were opposed to gay marriage:

  • American Baptist Churches USA.
  • The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons).
  • Orthodox Jews do not recognize gay marriage.
  • Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
  • National Association of Evangelicals
  • Southern Baptist Convention.
  • United Church in Christ. The General Synod recognized gay marriage in 2005, but each congregation is autonomous.
  • United Methodist Church

These groups have at least moved toward acceptance of gay marriage:

  • The Episcopal Church, which issued a statement in 2006 supporting gay individuals and opposing constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage.
  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, which allows for congregations to choose whether or not to accept same-sex unions.
  • The Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish movements support gay and lesbian rights.
  • Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at least allowed blessings for same-sex unions.
  • The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations was one of the earliest to support same-sex marriage (in 1996).

These religions groups have No Universal position on gay marriage:

  • Buddhism, although some Buddhists are against same-sex unions.
  • Hinduism

The topic was revisited from 2014-2015. Most of the information remained, but there were a couple changes.

The National Baptist Convention (the nation’s largest black church) and Assemblies of God (the largest Pentecostal denomination in the U.S.) were added to the list of denominations opposing gay marriage.

The Episcopal Church actually moved to allowing gay marriages and the Methodist church fiercely debated the issue. There was already a debate in 2012, but it grew more intense as Rev. Frank Schaefer married his gay son and other clergy members performed marriage ceremonies for gay couples, against the rules.


What the Bible Says About Homosexuality

Now, depending on the religion, leaders will decided whether they believe gay marriage is consistent with their teachings. For the most part, the Bible is used in the discussion, so I am focusing heavily on it in this section.

Depending on where I looked, there could be as few as 6 critical Bible verses that dealt with homosexuality or as many as 35.

In his post on Mic.com, Frank Hagler gives an open-minded, if noncommittal, view of the debate about gay marriage, in the context of Bible verses. He points out twelve verses that are commonly used in the debates, as they may be interpreted to at least allude to homosexuals.

The introduction on a page on Bible Study Tools has a conciliatory tone. Although the writer believes that the Bible categorizes homosexual acts as sinful, the writer says the Bible does not give anyone free reign to condemn homosexuals. Following are verses that address marriage and forgiveness.

Fritz Chery takes a hardline view against gay marriage. And most of the Bible verses he used were not pertinent.

Pertinent Bible Verses

Most of what I found did not mention homosexuality specifically (outside of newer English versions of the Bible) but the broad term “sexual immorality” Was used quite a bit. Now, I thought to include the verses that include the terms “sexual immorality,” “fornication,” and “sodomites.”

For consistency, I will be using the King James Bible for the source of the following Bible Verses.

Genesis

Genesis 2:21-25

21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 19:1-5

1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing [them] rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. 3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, [even] the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where [are] the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

Leviticus

Leviticus 18:22

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.

Leviticus 20:13

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

Judges

Judges 19:22

Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.

1 Kings

1 Kings 14:24

And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

1 Kings 15:12

And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.

1 Kings 22:46

And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.

2 Kings

2 Kings 23:7

“And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.”

Matthew

Matthew 15:19-20

19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are [the things] which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Matthew 19:4-6

4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Mark

Mark 7:20-23

20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Mark 10:6-9

6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Luke

Luke 17:29-30

29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Romans

Romans 1:8-10

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; 10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

 

Romans 1:26-32

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Romans 13:8-10

8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.

1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:17-20

17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 7:2-9

2 Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 6 But I speak this by permission, [and] not of commandment. 7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

2 Corinthians

2 Corinthians 12:21

And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.

Galatians

Galatians 5:16-21

16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians

Ephesians 5:1-5

1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Ephesians 5:28-32

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Colossians

Colossians 3:1-8

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

1 Thessalonians

1Thessalonians 4:1-8

1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort [you] by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, [so] ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no [man] go beyond and defraud his brother in [any] matter: because that the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

1 Timothy

1 Timothy 1:7-13

7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 8 But we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did [it] ignorantly in unbelief.

Hebrews

Hebrews 12:14-16

14 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

Hebrews 13:1-5

1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. 4 Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. 5 [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Jude

Jude 1:7

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

The Book of Revelation

Revelation 9:21

Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

Revelation 21:8

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Revelation 22:14-15

14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.


Laws Against Gay Marriage in the United States

On both the federal and state level, there have been a series of Defense of Marriage acts since 1996.

The Federal Defense of Marriage Act

The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was signed into law in 1996 by President Bill Clinton. It precluded same-sex marriages from being recognized outside a gay couple’s home state. Additionally, they missed out on benefits afforded to straight couples.

The Obama Administration initially defended DOMA, although President Obama expressed a desire to repeal the act. In 2011, the administration changed course and refused to defend the act thereafter. The majority opinion called out the administration for not enforcing an act that was passed by Congress based on personal opinions (as opposed to concerns of constitutionality?).

State Laws Banning Gay Marriage

Since 1998, over 30 states passed laws either banning gay marriage and precluding gay couples from enjoying the full benefits of marriage.

Marriage amendment animation

View this page for a breakdown of the types of laws.

1998

Alaska’s Ballot Measure 2, Joint Resolution 42 was passed, with 68% of the vote.

2000

Nebraska voters passed the Initiative Measure 416 with 70% of the vote.

2002

In Nevada, voters approved Nevada Question No. 2. It had to be approved in two consecutive elections (69.6% in 2000; 67.1% in 2002) in order to become law.

2004

  • Voters in Arkansas approved Constitutional Amendment 3 with 75% of the vote.
  • Seventy-six percent of Georgia’s voters selected “Yes” on Constitutional Amendment 1.
  • Seventy-five percent of voters in Kentucky approved Constitutional Amendment 1.
  • Constitutional Amendment 1 was passed in Louisiana by 78% of voters.
  • Michigan voters passed the State Proposal -04-2 with 59% of the vote.
  • Seventy-two percent of voters in Missouri supported Constitutional Amendment 2.
  • In Mississippi, 86% of voters supported the state’s Amendment 1.
  • Montana Initiative 96 garnered 67% of the vote.
  • North Dakota Constitutional Measure 1 was passed by 73% of the voters.
  • Ohio’s State Issue 1 received 62% of the vote.
  • In Oklahoma, State Question 711 won with 76% of the vote.
  • In Oregon, 57% of voters approved Oregon Ballot Measure 36.
  • In Utah, Constitutional Amendment 3 received 66% of the vote.

2005

  • In Kansas, 70% of voters approved the Proposed Amendment 1.
  • Proposition 2 was passed by 76% of Texan voters.

2006

  • Alabamans approved the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment (Amendment 774) with 81% of the vote.
  • In Colorado, 56% of voters approved Amendment 43.
  • Idahoans approved Idaho Amendment with 63% of the vote.
  • South Carolina Amendment 1 was passed by 78% of the voters.
  • Fifty-two percent of South Dakota’s voters approved South Dakota Amendment C.
  • In Tennessee, 81% of voters approved Tennessee Amendment 1.
  • Virginians approved the Marshall-Newman Amendment with 57% of the vote.
  • Wisconsin Referendum 1 was passed by 59% of the vote.

2008

  • Arizona Proposition 102 was passed with 56% of the vote.
  • In California, 52% of voters approve Proposition 8.
  • Floridians approved Florida Amendment 2 with 62% of the vote.

2012

North Carolina Amendment 1 was passed by 61% of voters.

By the time the United States Supreme Court ruled against gay marriage bans on a 5-4 vote in 2015, the laws on the books were ruled unconstitutional by one court case or a pair of court cases. But at the same time, no less than 37 states and the District of Columbia recognized same-sex marriage.

The states where gay marriage was legal at the time were: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Other states still placed “Defense of Marriage” acts on the books which sought to ban gay marriage. Currently, an anti-gay marriage bill has been passed by North Carolina’s legislature.

Civil Unions

Civil Unions were heavily promoted by opponents of same-sex marriage during the early 2000’s. Civil unions were to serve as an alternative to marriage for gay couples, but differed from marriage in at least 3 ways:

First, the term “civil unions” were not defined as marriages. The word “marriage” is denoted cultural and often religious meanings.

Second, civil unions were not recognized in all states. A gay couple may be joined in a civil union in Massachusetts but that union might not be recognized in Pennsylvania.

Third, gay couples in civil unions weren’t eligible to federal benefits afforded to married couples.

For all intents and purposes, civil unions were limited marriages, but by a different name.


Pertinent Court Cases

Although two Supreme Court cases garnered the most attention between 2013-2015, there have been many more that should be addressed to some degree. But before perusing the list of cases, you should know how amendments were been cited in those cases and why.

Amendments at Play

In recent court cases, at least two amendments have been expressly cited.

The Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment is widely known because people have often heard the term, “I plead the Fifth.” While a clause prevents those on the stand in a criminal trial from incriminating themselves, the amendment is more complex than that.

But strictly in terms of gay marriage, the Fifth Amendment prevents homosexuals from being abused by government action.

Here is the text:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The Fourteenth Amendment

The Fourteenth Amendment was also including in my last fact sheet regarding States’ Rights. But it’s important to note that the Equal Protection clause is focused on in cases regarding gay marriage.

Once again, here is the text of the amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

State Court Cases

Goodridge v. Mass. Department of Public Health is a case of note since it was one of the first in the new millennium to chip away at restrictions against gay marriage.

Goodridge v. Massachusetts Department of Public Health

The case was ended in a 4-1 decision from the Superior Court in Suffolk County, Massachusetts in favor of the plaintiff on November 18, 2003. According to the majority decision, limits on civil marriage violated the state’s constitution, as well as due process and equal protection laws.

U.S. Supreme Court Cases

Between 2013 and 2016, there were two large cases of note that deal a final blow to DOMA on the federal level: United States v. Windsor (2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).

United States v. Windsor

The case before the Supreme Court was brought by Edie Windsor, who was 84 years old at the time of the Court’s decision. Her spouse, Thea Spyer, died in 2009; Windsor paid $363,000 in federal estate taxes. Windsor sued the federal government after her request for a refund was denied by the Internal Revenue Service.

On Wednesday, June 23, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act in a 5-4 decision. The Justices in the majority were: Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. The majority opinion, delivered by Justice Kennedy, stated that the law was unconstitutional because it sought to single out a protected class and it violated the Fifth Amendment.

Obergefell v. Hodges

Groups of Gay couples challenged gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. In each case, the respective state court found in favor of the plaintiffs. However, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed those decisions. Once the case was taken to the United States Supreme Court, gay marriage bans were deemed in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection clauses in a 5-4 decision.


Works Cited

“5th Amendment to the Constitution.” Totally History. Web. Retrieved 7 Feb 2017. <http://totallyhistory.com/5th-amendment-to-the-constitution/>.

“14th Amendment to the Constitution.” Totally History. Web. Retrieved 10 Jan 2017. <http://totallyhistory.com/14th-amendment-to-the-constitution/>.

“Bible Verses About Homosexuality.” King James Bible Online. Web. <https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Homosexuality/>.

Chery, Fritz. “35 Important Bible Verses About Homosexuality And Being Gay.” Bible Reasons. 24 Jan 2016. Web. <http://biblereasons.com/homosexuality/>.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts. “GOODRIDGE vs. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 400 Mass, 309.” Massachusetts Cases. Web. Retrieved 14 Feb 2017. Web. <http://masscases.com/cases/sjc/440/440mass309.html>.

Lipka, Michael and Masci, David. “Where Christian churches, other religions stand on gay marriage.” Pew Research Center. 18 June 2014. Updated 21 Dec 2015. Web. Retrieved 7 Feb 2017. <http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/12/21/where-christian-churches-stand-on-gay-marriage/>.

“Obergefell v. Hodges.” Oyez. IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Web. Retrieved 7 Feb 2017. <https://www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-556>.

Reilly, Ryan J. and Siddiqui, Sabrina. “Supreme Court DOMA Decision Rules Federal Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional.” The Huffington Post. 26 June 2013. Web. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/supreme-court-doma-decision_n_3454811.html>.

“Religious Groups’ Official Positions on Same-Sex Marriage.” Pew Research Center. 7 Dec 2016. Web. <http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/07/religious-groups-official-positions-on-same-sex-marriage/>.

“State Same-Sex Marriage State Laws Map.” Governing. 2015. Web. Retrieved 7 Feb 2017. <http://www.governing.com/gov-data/same-sex-marriage-civil-unions-doma-laws-by-state.html>.

Thompson Reuters. “What is a Civil Union?” FindLaw. Web. Retrieved 14 Feb 2017. <http://family.findlaw.com/domestic-partnerships/what-is-a-civil-union.html>.

Williams Simon, Erica. “There are 6 Scriptures about homosexuality in the Bible. Here’s what they really say.” Upworthy. 27 June 2014. Web. <http://www.upworthy.com/there-are-6-scriptures-about-homosexuality-in-the-bible-heres-what-they-really-say>.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Gay Marriage in the United States

    1. From what the looks of things, he might not read much at all. There are leaks from he camp: Some staffers are pointing to Steve Bannon as the originator of a number, if not all of the executive orders DT has signed so far. Also, Bannon was placed on the Security Council and there is new that DT didn’t realized an order he signed allowed for it.

      Like

Have any thoughts on the subject? Time’s yours.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s