Obergefell vs Hodges Case’s Supreme Court Ruling

Subject: Law
Pages: 2
Words: 657
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

The concept of marriage is dynamic with different views from philosophy and religion, derived from faith, culture, races, and changes in civilization. Throughout history, marriage is seen as a uniting factor between the opposite sex which defines a lifelong commitment. In both religion and philosophy, the centrality of marriage is the joining of two people for a timeless union which has led to the controversy on same-sex marriages for decades. This essay discusses the controversial arguments of same-sex marriages based on the Obergefell and Hodges case, which marks one of the most significant Supreme Court rulings of time. The discussion focuses on the states involved in the case, the constitutional clauses discussed in the case, the final verdict, and its impact on society today.

The main issues raised for debate on the case are the marriage and the recognition questions involving Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan (Espinoza-Kulick, 2020). According to these states, marriage is only acceptable if it involves couples of different sex. Fourteen same-sex couples petitioned for the violation of same-sex marriages against the four states on the grounds of violating the Fourteenth Amendment clause, which dictates equality in protecting citizens’ rights. Respondents to the case included state officials concerned with equal rights who argued against same-sex marriages, claiming that it devalues the marriage institution’s meaning, which should unite individuals of the opposite sex. The case was brought to the United States Court of Appeal for decision-making held on 26th June 2015, with the petitioners winning the case on a 5 to 4 ruling.

The constitutional clauses involving the Supreme Court’s ruling that allows the recognition and licensing of same-sex marriages include four constitutional principles discussed. The first constitutional principle supporting the equality claim is individual autonomy, which states that individuals have the right to make personal decisions on their intimate partners regardless of public opinion and is protected under the Due Process Clause 388 of the 14th amendment constitution. The second principle involves the fundamental right to marriage for all individuals, which advocates for couples’ privacy in dealing with marital affairs regardless of the type of union. The principle suggests that same-sex couples have a constitutional right of protection, just like the constitutional right which protects couples using contraception under clause 381 of the 14th amendment constitution(Espinoza-Kulick, 2020). Thirdly, the Justice argues that same-sex marriages should be recognized to avoid hurting the couple’s family and children who are innocent. The constitutional principle claims that marriage does not condition procreation to be complete; thus, the adopted children require protection under the rights for childrearing and education.

Finally, the fourth argument claims that since states give importance to marriages in society, the rights granted to different-sex marriage should be equal to same-sex marriages as it also represents a union between intimate partners (Espinoza-Kulick, 2020). It would be unfair for same-sex couples who have the same aspirations for marriage to be denied the opportunity of acceptance and equality in marital rights. The Court’s ruling on licensing same-sex marriages and practicing equal rights became a significant element for same-sex couples as they could form unions without discrimination and fear. More people also support same-sex marriages in society resulting in happy and healthy same-sex couples, unlike the previous years when the practice was rebuked by culture. Politically, same-sex marriage has become a campaign tool that determines the winning contestants depending on the different American States as citizens adapt to the concept.

In conclusion, the court ruling on the Orgafell and Hodges case brought different reactions and attitudes among the public. The verdict led to division and controversy among citizens from other states over the years as they tried to adapt to the ruling. Currently, most people have changed attitudes toward same-sex marriages and advocate for their freedom to all rights as citizens and couples, with the younger generation being at the forefront. Older citizens are still controversial and adamant in accepting same-sex union, which extents the division on the topic.


Espinoza-Kulick, A. (2020). A multimethod approach to framing disputes: same-sex marriage on trial in Obergefell V. Hodges. Mobilization: An International Quarterly, 25(1), 45-70.