Marriage equality is now the law of the land in every state of the United States of America. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The Court’s decision guarantees same-sex couples the freedom to marry and the right to have those marriages recognized by every state.
What are Your Rights?
According to the Supreme Court, the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states, including the State of Texas to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and to recognize any marriages that were previously performed out of state.
Before the Supreme Court’s ruling, there was a patchwork of various marriage laws differing from state to state. Some states allowed same-sex marriages, while others had laws in place to prohibit it. The Supreme Court ruled those state laws that prohibit gay and lesbian couples from marrying are unconstitutional, and a violation of the individual rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
According to Justice Kennedy:
“In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
This judicial decision marks a crucial moment for civil rights in our country. Unfortunately, there are those in our nation and our state, who despite the court’s ruling, are vowing to continue their attempts to restrict marriage access for gay and lesbian couples. It is more important than ever then, to know and understand your rights, and to ensure that you are being treated fairly under the law.
Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing matters that pertain to this ruling in more detail. We will be covering issues such as the right to legally marry, parent-child relationships, spousal benefits, discrimination issues and more. Follow along with us as we discuss the details of this landmark ruling that offers marriage equality to all the couples in our country.
If you are facing discrimination or having difficulty obtaining a marriage license, contact Alexander Law Firm. We will listen to you, discuss your options, and help advocate for your rights.