Estate and Gifts, Corporate Real Estate, Divorce and Family Law

Supreme Court Affirms the Right for Same Sex Couples to Marry – Legally, Now What?

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What Might This Mean For You Legally?

In light of the recent Obergefell v Hodges decision and the issues and questions that our community may have regarding their legal rights, Willingham & Cote’, P.C. will be holding a seminar on THURSDAY, JULY 16th from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.  This seminar will address issues of property law, family law, insurance law and inheritance law.  There is no charge for this event.  If you are interested in joining us, please RSVP to Laura Riley at 324-1029 or .  Please leave your name and phone number, as well as any specific questions you may have.  We are located at 333 E. Albert Avenue, Suite 500 in the East Lansing Marriott building.  Free parking is available.

The Ruling

The United States Supreme Court confirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry today in its decision in Obergefell v Hodges.  In its opinion, the Court found that “same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States.”  It also found that “there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.”

In reaching its conclusion, the Court extended the fundamental right to marry guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to same-sex couples based on four principles.  The Court reasoned that (1) “the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy” (2) “the right to marry is fundamental because it supports a two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals” (3) the right to marry “safeguards children and families and thus draws meaning from related rights of childrearing, procreation and education.” and (4) “the Nation’s traditions make clear that marriage is a keystone of our social order.”

The Court also made clear in its opinion that the rights of same-sex couples to exercise this fundamental right cannot be delayed.  Same-sex couples do not need to wait for legislative action to exercise these rights.

The full text of the opinion can be found at here.