in effect, upheld state action that denied gays and lesbians a fundamental right. The petitioners are 14 same-sex couples and two men whose same-sex partners are deceased.
Though it was eventually repudiated, men and women suffered pain and humiliation in the interim, and the effects of these injuries no doubt lingered long after was overruled. The respondents are state officials responsible for enforcing the laws in question. The first, presented by the cases from Michigan and Kentucky, is whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex.
I These cases come from Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, States that define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations. This view long has been held—and continues to be held—in good faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world.
The centrality of marriage to the human condition makes it unsurprising that the institution has existed for millennia and across civilizations. The petitioners acknowledge this history but contend that these cases cannot end there.
These new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution.
In 2011, however, Arthur was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
A ruling against same-sex couples would have the same effect and would be unjustified under the Fourteenth Amendment. TOP Opinion NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. The petitioners claim the respondents violate the Fourteenth Amendment by denying them the right to marry or to have their marriages, lawfully performed in another State, given full recognition. The second, presented by the cases from Ohio, Tennessee, and, again, Kentucky, is whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to recognize a same-sex marriage licensed and performed in a State which does grant that right.
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.
Each District Court ruled in petitioners’ favor, but the Sixth Circuit consolidated the cases and reversed. (a) Before turning to the governing principles and precedents, it is appropriate to note the history of the subject now before the Court. To the respondents, it would demean a timeless institution if marriage were extended to same-sex couples. (2) The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change.
: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State. But the petitioners, far from seeking to devalue marriage, seek it for themselves because of their respect—and need—for its privileges and responsibilities, as illustrated by the petitioners’ own experiences. Changes, such as the decline of arranged marriages and the abandonment of the law of coverture, have worked deep transformations in the structure of marriage, affecting aspects of marriage once viewed as essential.