Obgerfell, et al. v. Hodges, et al.

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: January 16, 2015
  • Case #: 14-556
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Court Below: 772 F.3d 388 (6th Cir. Mich. 2014)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to recognize a same sex marriage when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.

Consolidated with Tanco v. Haslam; DeBoer v. Snyder; Bourke v. Beshear.

Petitioners represent same-sex couples residing in Sixth-Circuit states which do not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Respondents represent State Officials of Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee, in their official capacity.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals consolidated their opinion from appeals from the various district court decisions. The Court of Appeals held in favor of the Respondents, finding that the states' non-recognition of valid out of state same-sex marriage is constitutional. The Court of Appeals addressed each of the constitutional issues raised by Petitioners in turn, and reasoned that the state laws that define and recognize marriages present a rational relationship to a legitimate state interest, and are within the constitutional limits of conflict-of-laws under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, and do not restrict the right to travel. Petitioners petitioned for writ of certiorari.

The United States Supreme Court granted the petitions for writs of certiorari limited to the following questions: (1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and (2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

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