Hearing the rights that each person receives from

Hearing wedding bells chime and finding one’s true soulmate on earth is something many people desire. Marriage is defined as a bond of union between a man and a woman. On the other hand to same-sex partners, marriage is a bond between two people that love each other, whether they are the same sex or not. Multiple individuals petitioned that the Fourteenth Amendment denied them the right to be lawfully married or have their marriage recognized in all States (Supreme 2). The Fourteenth Amendment declares that all people born in the United States are granted citizenship of the United States, and that there shall not be any discrimination against a person from the law. The Fourteenth Amendment also states that the rights that each person receives from the First Amendment of the Constitution, cannot be taken away without due process, meaning that the government cannot take away a person’s rights without fairness or without a trial for individuals charged with a wrongdoing (“14th”). The Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges created a progressional impact for those interested in and wanting to marry individuals of the same-sex, but for those who disagreed or were disgusted with this way of life, it created turmoil. Prior to Obergefell v. Hodges, thirty-six States in the United States had already provided same-sex couples with marriage licenses. The United States landmark Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges originated from six lower court cases. Initially, these six cases arose from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. These court cases represented sixteen same-sex individuals, seven of their children, an adoption agency, a funeral director, and a widower. The six federal district courts accomplished a ruling for the plaintiffs and defendants (Terkel, Abbey-Lambertz, and Conetta). In Michigan marriage was defined as “the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose” (Appeals 9). In frustration, a same-sex couple, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, challenged the Michigan’s definition of marriage on January 23, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan entitled, DeBoer v. Snyder (Wikipedia Contributors). Ms. DeBoer and Ms. Rowse, both had adopted children as single parents, and they both desired to fulfill the role as a parent for the other’s adopted child. The two females declared that the State’s law contravened the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, when it came to Michigan’s adoption laws. Due to a minimum of supporting evidence in this claim, the State and district court agreed to dismiss the case. In the place of a dismissal, the court encouraged the two females to challenge Michigan’s laws that denied the two a marriage license. The plaintiffs agreed, and created a new complaint, which stated that Michigan’s marriage laws interfered with the due process and equal protection promises of the Fourteenth Amendment. Furthermore, a nine day trial was held, where the plaintiffs attested that same-sex couples can provide for the needs and care for children just as well as parents of the opposite can. They plaintiffs also testified that any refusal to acknowledge the marriage of gay or lesbian couples can establish anxiety and a lack of stability in their families and children. On the other hand, the defendants held that it was doubtful that a same-sex couple could raise their children as well as from the opposite sex (Appeals 9). Richard Snyder, the lead defendant, was the Governor of Michigan. On March 21, 2014, Judge Friedman sided with DeBoer and Rowse (Wikipedia Contributors).  The district court decided that a rejection would be in place for Michigan’s foundation of marriage laws, and that the State’s laws failed to please “rational basis review” (Appeals 9-10). Two cases testified against different facets of the State’s law regarding marriage, in the State of Kentucky. The State’s law recognized marriages that only included one man and one woman as authoritative. One case that was held in Kentucky involved four same-sex couples, George Bourke and Michael DeLeon, Jimmy Meade and Luther Barlowe, Randell Johnson and Paul Campion, and Kimberly Franklin and Tamera Boyd. Each of the four same-sex partners had previously married in different States and were now residing in Kentucky, where State law refused to recognize their marriages (Appeals 10). Therefore, Bourke v. Beshear, was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, challenging Kentucky’s prohibition on same-sex marriage and the recognition of same-sex marriages from other States. Steve Beshear, the lead defendant, was the governor of Kentucky. On February 12, 2014, Judge John G. Heyburn II, sided with the group of plaintiffs, stating that Kentucky’s laws were unconstitutional (Wikipedia Contributors).  Another case involved Timothy Love and Lawrence Ysunza, as well as Maurice Blanchard and Dominique James, which was filed because the couples were both denied marriage licenses by county clerk office in Kentucky. On February 14, 2014, Love and Ysunza decided to side with Blanchard and James (Wikipedia Contributors), and both couples testified that the Fourteenth Amendment banned Kentucky from refusing the couples a marriage license (Appeals 10). On July 1, 2014, in the district court case of Love v. Beshear, Judge Heyburn II sided with the plaintiffs, stating that Kentucky’s marriage laws violated the Fourteenth Amendment, and would no longer be valid. Steve Beshear was the leading defendant (Wikipedia Contributors). Additionally, another court case was testified in Ohio, once again involving a State’s refusal to acknowledge out-of-state same-sex marriages. Ohio only allowed for marriages between one man and one woman, and declared that any couple who entered into marriage of the same-sex was invalid (Appeals 11). James Obergefell and John Arthur had been married outside of Ohio, and after discovering that Ohio would not recognize their marriage, they filed a lawsuit, Obergefell v. Kasich, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on July 19, 2013. Because Arthur was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS, the couple wanted Obergefell noted as Arthur’s surviving spouse on his death certificate, but the State of Ohio refused (Geidner #1). The lead defendant was Ohio Governor, John Kasich (Wikipedia Contributors). On July 22, 2013, Timothy S. Black, a district judge, temporarily restricted the Ohio Registry Office, “From accepting any death certificates unless it recorded the deceased’s status at death as married and his partner as surviving spouse” (Geidner #2). Black set the order until December 2013, and allowed for any injunctive relief arguments (“Gay”). During this period of time during the Obergefell v. Kasich case, David Michener and William Herbert Ives, had also been married outside of Ohio. On August 27, 2013, Ives passed away unanticipated, but Michener’s name was not placed on the death certificate, due to State law. On September 3, 2013, David Michener, who desired legal remedy (Wikipedia Contributors), as well as Robert Grunn, a funeral director, who was seeking for the court to secure his right to recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates, were both added to the Obergefell case as other plaintiffs (Appeals 11-12). The case’s name was then changed to Obergefell v. Wymyslo, and Ohio’s Health Department Director, Theodore Wymyslo, was now named the new lead defendant. Finally, on December 23, 2013, Judge Black ordered that Ohio’s refusal to recognize same-sex couples married in other States was discriminatory, and that all same-sex marriages from other States were to be recognized on death certificates in the State of Ohio (Wikipedia Contributors). Correspondingly, another court case from Ohio challenged that State laws, which refused to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, transgressed the Fourteenth Amendment. Four couples had all been married outside the State and wanted Ohio to accept their marriages on their children’s birth certificates. There were three female couples, Brittani Henry and Brittni Rogers, Nicole and Pam Yorksmith, and Kelly Noe and Kelly McCracken and one male couple Joseph Vitale and Robert Talmas. Within the female couples, at least one partner had naturally birthed a child in the State of Ohio. Instead of having just the birth mother’s name on the certificate, each of the female couples desired to have both of the same-sex parents’ names on the certificate. The male same-sex couple, on the other hand, had adopted a child born in Ohio, but the two resided in New York. Wanting both of their names on the Ohio birth certificate, the two men aspired to change the original certificate. All four couples argued that Ohio’s denial of accepting out-of-state marriages between those of the same-sex violated the Fourteenth Amendment (Appeals 11-12). On February 10, 2014, the four couples filed a lawsuit, Henry v. Wymyslo, in the United states District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, hoping to require the State to allow both of the same-sex individuals name on the birth certificates. Director of the Ohio Department of Health, Theodore Wymyslo was the lead defendant (Myers). On April 14, 2014, Judge Black, (Wikipedia Contributors), stated that Ohio was to recognize all married gay or lesbian couples, as well as all legal incidents of marriage (Appeals 11-12).   Another case that led up to the Supreme Court hearing was a case that arose from Tennessee, which centered around recognition of same-sex couple marriages. Those included in the case were Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty, Ijpe DeKoe and Thomas Kostura, and John Espejo and Matthew Mansell (Appeals 12). The three couples filed a lawsuit, Tanco v. Haslam, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. The governor of Tennessee, William Edwards Haslam, was the lead defendant (Wikipedia Contributors). Judge Aleta Arthur Trauger, on March 14, 2014, admitted a “preliminary injunction ordering Tennessee to recognize the marriages of the three plaintiff couples” (Wikipedia Contributors). These court decisions were later appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Theodore Wymyslo, appealed Obergefell v. Wymyslo, on January 16. 2014, which was later renamed Obergefell v. Hodges, due to Richard Hodges becoming Ohio’s new Department of Health Director. William Edwards Haslam, appealed Tanco v. Haslam, on March 18, 2014. On March 21, 2014, Richard Snyder appealed DeBoer v. Snyder (Wikipedia Contributors). Steve Beshear, appealed Bourke v. Beshear on March 18, 2014, and Love v. Beshear on July 8, 2014. Finally, on May 9 2014, Ohio’s Director of Health appealed Henry v. Himes. After being appealed, on November 6, 2014, the Sixth Circuit ruled in a 2-1 decision that ban on same-sex marriage did not go against the Constitution of the United States. The court declared it was bound by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1972 action in a resembled case, Baker v. Nelson, that dismissed a same-sex couples marriage claim “for want of a substantial federal question” (Wikipedia Contributors). On November 14, 2014, the plaintiffs involved in DeBoer v. Snyder, Obergefell v. Hodges, and Tanco v. Haslam, filed petitions for writs of certiorari with the court (Snow). On November 18, 2014, the same-sex couples in Bourke v. Beshear, also filed for a writ of certiorari. Asking if denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated the Fourteenth Amendment, the plaintiffs of the DeBoer case presented their petition to the court (Wikipedia Contributors). On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the four same-sex marriage cases that challenged State laws that prohibit same-sex marriages, and the court agreed to hear the case only if it met two criteria (Geidner #2). These criterias included the questions of “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same-sex” and “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same-sex that was legally licensed and performed in another state (“Obergefell” #2). The only court case to question both of these questions was Obergefell v. Hodges, therefore, the Supreme Court agreed to hold a hearing (Geidner #2). On April 28, 2015, James Obergefell argued his claim against Ohio and the state’s Health Director, to recognize his marriage from a different state and to allow for his name to be listed on his deceased husband’s death certificate in the Supreme Court. Obergefell argued that not allowing any recognition of his marriage on the certificate, as well as the State not allowing for the recognition of his same-sex marriage, violate the Fourteenth Amendment (“Obergefell” #2). Whereas the defendant, Hodges, claimed that it was against Ohio’s State Law to recognize same-sex marriages, even if the couple was married in a different State (“Obergefell”#1). The plaintiffs won the case by a 5-4 majority decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion and declared, That the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person and is therefore protected by the due process clause, which prohibits the states from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. By virtue of the close connection between liberty and equality, the marriage right is also guaranteed by the equal protection clause, which forbids the states from denying to any person…the equal protection of the laws (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica). Kennedy went on to argue that “The reasons marriage is fundamental, including its connection with individual liberty, apply with equal force to same-sex couples. Such considerations, compel the court to hold that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry” (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica). Justice Elena Kagan, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Ruth Bader, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor all had corresponding agreements with Justice Anthony Kennedy (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica). On the other hand, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. wrote a dissent, in which he stated, While same-sex marriage might be good and fair policy, the Constitution does not address it, and therefore it is beyond the purview of the Court to decide whether states have to recognize or license such unions. Instead, this issue should be decided by individual state legislatures based on the will of their electorates. The Constitution and judicial precedent clearly protect a right to marry and require states to apply laws regarding marriage equally, but the Court cannot overstep its bounds and engage in judicial policymaking. The precedents regarding the right to marry only strike down unconstitutional limitations on marriage as it has been traditionally defined and government intrusions, and therefore there is no precedential support for making a state alter its definition of marriage (“Obergefell” #2 ). Chief Justice Roberts went on to argue that the majority opinion relied on an expansive reading of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Roberts also stated that if the other Judges had not over analyzed the United States’ Constitution, the majority opinion would have turned out the opposite way. Joining him in this decision was Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas. There was no concurrent opinions. Writing his own dissent, Justice Scalia wrote that “The majority opinion violated the Court’s power, by taking away the power that the Constitution grants the States” (“Obergefell” #2). Justice Scalia argued “that it should be up to each State’s own degression whether they want to recognize same-sex marriage or not, and that this should be done by having citizens of each State take votes.” Like Justice Scalia, Justice Clarence Thomas also wrote his own dissent in which he stated, “That the Court had overstepped the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution and that the Amendment protected the people, but did not guarantee any titles given to people of the United States.” Justice Thomas also argued that, “The majority opinion impermissibly infringed on religious freedom by legislating from the bench rather than allowing the State legislature to determine how best to address the competing rights and interest at stake.” Justice Scalia agreed with Justice Thomas’s dissent. Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. in another separate dissent argued, “The Constitution does not address the right of same-sex couples to marry, so the decision was to be left up to the States.” He then concluded that the majority rule had, “Created a new right and that the Court’s power was expanded farther than the Constitution allowed” (“Obergefell” #2). However, none of the dissenting opinions mattered, because on June 26, 2015, in the Robert’s Court, the United States Supreme Court reversed the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, and announced that State bans on same-sex marriages and refusing to recognize same-sex marriages from other States is unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica). James Obergefell, ecstatic that he won the Court case, expressed his joy and stated the June 26, 2015, ruling from the Supreme Court “Affirms what millions across the country already know to be true in our hearts: that our love is equal” (Barnes). He then went on to express his dreams that the term “gay marriage,” would simply be a phrase of the past, and one day in the future it would just be known and accepted as marriage (Barnes). President Barack Obama was overjoyed with the decision naming the Court’s ruling a “victory for America” (Reilly). Many businesses went on to advertise their companies on social media with rainbows or other indicators of support for the legalization of gay marriage (Kim and Valiente). The media and same-sex supporters established parades, rallies, tweets, photos, and social media posts displaying their appreciation and support for same-sex couples (Sarkar). With the legalization of gay marriage, many people are coming out of the closet, expressing their love for those of the same sex, which in turn leads to relations between same-sex couples. In 2015, Gay and bisexual men accounted for 82% (26,376) of new HIV diagnoses among all males aged 13 and older and 67% of the total new diagnoses in the United States.. Gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24 accounted for 92% of new HIV diagnoses among all men in their age group and 27% of new diagnoses among all gay and bisexual men. Gay and bisexual men accounted for 55% (10,047) of people who received an AIDS diagnosis. Of those men, 39% were African American, 31% were white, and 24% were Hispanic/Latino (“HIV”). It has been scientifically proven that those practice in the same are less likely to live as long as those who practice opposite sex relations. The life expectancy for homosexuals is “about twenty years shorter than that of the general public” (“Gay” #1). Those who disagree with the decision are religious and believe God created man and woman to procreate with each other, or feel disgusted and uncomfortable with the actions and diseases of same-sex couples. I stand with those who disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision. God has created man and woman to join together and procreation. To put it lightly, the only way us humans can reproduce is with someone of the opposite sex. Society has now become more and more disgusting, I do not want to see those of the same-sex in any form of sexual relationships. It is not right to place in society’s head that woman and woman or male and male can love each other the same as a husband and wife would, because individuals cannot procreate with those of the same-sex, which is one of the things we were created to do in this life. Marriage has been traditionally defined as a union between one man and one woman, and should stay that way. I understand that rights have come along way in the United States, but gay rights should not be allowed, because of the spreading of diseases and the fact that it takes a man and a woman to produce offspring. All in all, the Supreme Court should have never reversed the Court of Appeal’s decision. Our country was based on our belief in God by the Founding Fathers, and God created us humans to establish sexual relations with those we marry of the opposite sex.

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