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SCOTUS on Marriage Equality: Gay Marriage is a Fundamental Right

On June 26th, the US Supreme Court voted against marriage discrimination. In other words, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of same-sex and opposite-sex marriage for couples in all 50 states, permitting anyone seeking to marry another person regardless of sex or sexual orientation. I believe this is a huge win for the United States as we are a country founded on the freedom and liberties of the individual. There are millions of people, regardless of their sexual orientation, happy for this victory.

Obergefell v. Hodges

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the question for the court was whether the United States Constitution requires a state where same-sex marriage is not legal to recognize a marriage licensed in a state where it is legal. Also, does the Constitution require states to issue marriage licenses between two people of the same sex? All of this can be summed up in one short, simple question: does the Constitution require us to recognize same-sex marriage in every state?

Although the Supreme Court came close to answering this in 2013, it avoided it for technical reasons and now has faced it head on. “What we’re asking for is simply to be part of that same tradition of marriage where two people commit to each other and make those promises to love, protect and honor each other. How are we changing that? How are we harming that? We’re just asking to do the same thing,” said Jim Obergefell, lead plaintiff in the case in an interview.

Tough questions came out of this case. For instance, do we have to redefine marriage? Every definition or marriage that was looked up by Chief Justice John Roberts for all of time, leading up to about 10 or so years ago defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Until 2004, no states recognized same-sex marriages. Before this ruling, 37 states and the District of Columbia, recognized marriage equality and nearly 72% of Americans lived in a state that allowed same-sex couples to marry. This change was sudden, given the history of the country – and the world.

So, it was the Supreme Court’s turn to decide whether the remaining states had to also permit same-sex marriage.

How did Each Supreme Court Justice Vote?

The Supreme Court voted in favor of same-sex marriage 5-4.

What Does This Mean Louisiana Gay Marriage?

Louisiana was one of the 13 states that did not recognize or legalize gay marriage. Therefore, this Supreme Court ruling has an enormous effect on the state, including its economy. It is a huge win for Louisianans who want to marry someone of the same sex, or who have been married in another state but reside in Louisiana. According to the Supreme Court, a marriage cannot be discriminated against by any state and therefore you are legally married. You now bear the same rights as any man-woman marriage out there. This is also a huge win for New Orleans, as a city. The Big Easy is very accepting of the gay and lesbian population, as portrayed by the popular Southern Decadence Festival in September, and expects to have a huge boost in economy.

I’ll save my thoughts on divorcing same-sex couples for another blog post, however I will tell you that I’ve advised at least one client on the topic already. We’ve talked about filing his divorce from his husband in a Louisiana court.

Seeking Legal Advice for Same-Sex Marriages

If you are in a same-sex relationship residing in Louisiana and you would like to know about your rights when you get married, consider calling an experienced family lawyer in New Orleans, Crescent City Law. Our understanding, compassion and experience with domestic partnerships and same-sex couples, can help you with all the information you need to move forward with your relationship. You can contact John Radziewicz or call (504) 264-9492. Free initial consultations are available!

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