Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality

June 26, 2015

The Supreme Court, in a landmark 5-4 decision, has ruled that same-sex marriage is a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment and that a States are thus required to both license a marriage between two people of the same sex and recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed out-of-State. (Obergefell v. Hodges)

The majority opinion, written by Justice Kennedy and joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, described the history of marriage as “one of both continuity and change,” and described the Court’s jurisprudence on marriage as guaranteeing a fundamental right that carries with it a host of social, economic, and legal consequences.  

Four separate dissents were filed by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.  

Although Obergefell is not a tax case, it will certainly impact the taxes of same-sex married couples.  Many same-sex couples have been subject to conflicting treatment of their marital status by the State and Federal government because, although the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision in 2013 mandated Federal recognition of same-sex marriage, it did not compel that States do the same.



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