Obergefell v. Hodges [full text]

Below is the Supreme Court’s decision the long-awaited gay marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges). Justices had two questions to answer, and the majority answered yes to both of them:

1. Does the 14th Amendment require states to issue marriage licenses to two people of the same sex?

2. Does the 14th Amendment require states to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states?

The Supreme Court requires all states to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Gay marriage is now legal and required in all 50 states. Here’s the actual language from the holding:

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.

Download the decision here or read it below:


    • James Bradshaw

      Ken, God also apparently had a different feeling about slavery.

      Exodus 21:20-21

      Thankfully, the liberal abolitionists won that argument … eventually. It only took the SBC a century to come around, so I won’t be holding my breath for them to come around on this one.

      • Ian Shaw

        That may have been true, but you also have the southern democrats that voted against the civil rights act of 1964……weird isn’t it?

    • Nathan Cesal

      I give it two thumbs up because it extends religious liberty to those that either ignore those passages or read them differently.

  • Sandy Bowman

    Oh, my, my, my. By their interpretation they have changed law in our land. I can’t think that they have captured the 14th Amendment’s true intent. I feel wounded, sad, and devastated by their action. Not to discuss their blatant disregard for states’ rights, but in my opinion, the SC has done that…again. We are one nation under God, but our forefathers were diligent to protect the governing rights of the individual state governing bodies. All that said, the real tragedy is that the SC has put our country at odds with the Word and God’s character, and Jesus’ example. Lord have mercy on us. Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

  • Audrey Liebross

    Speaking as a lawyer, I find one thing perplexing about the dissents in these marriage equality cases: They do not discuss the effect of the Constitution’s “full faith and credit clause” on the validity of a marriage lawfully entered into in another state. The majority does not discuss this clause because it is unnecessary; if there is a constitutional right to marry in every state, then every state will automatically recognize a marriage solemnized in another state.

    However, the dissenters, who do not believe that there is a constitutional right for same sex couples to marry,must address the question of how to treat a lawful marriage from another state. This portion of the decision should have been 9-0 in favor of recognition because of the full faith and credit clause, which requires legal decisions by one state to be recognized in all. This clause is the reason that a marriage between first cousins in a state that permits them to marry is recognized in states that do not permit such marriages — state A cannot tell two first cousins who lawfully married in state B that they are not married in state A. As a result of this clause in the Constitution, if a couple lawfully married in Maryland travels through Virginia, they must still be recognized as lawfully married, whether they are members of the opposite sex or the same sex, even though Maryland permitted marriages (such as between members of the same sex) that Virginia barred. Unless there are other opinions not reproduced on this web site, the dissenters ignored the effect of the full faith and credit clause on legal marriages from another state.

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