Skip to Content

What amendment made gay marriage legal?

For many years, same-sex couples had not been allowed to marry in the United States, as the institution of marriage had been exclusively reserved for heterosexual couples. However, this all changed on June 26, 2015, when the Supreme Court of the United States passed a landmark ruling that made gay marriage legal across the entire country. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what exactly happened on that day in June, and the role that the Fourteenth Amendment played in making gay marriage a legal right.

The Fight for LGBT Rights

The struggle for LGBT rights in the United States has been a long and complicated one, with many setbacks and successes along the way. Historically, gay people have been discriminated against, marginalized, and even criminalized, and while much progress has been made in recent years, there is still a long way to go until true equality is achieved.

One of the key areas of concern for many LGBT activists has been the right to marry. For a long time, same-sex couples were not allowed to get married in the United States, as marriage was defined as being between one man and one woman.

This exclusion from marriage was seen as being deeply unfair by many, as it meant that non-heterosexual couples were denied many of the legal benefits and protections that marriage afforded. For example, they were not able to file joint tax returns, make medical decisions for their partners in the event of an emergency, or even be recognized as next of kin.

The Fourteenth Amendment and Equal Protection

The legal battle to have gay marriage recognized as a right began in earnest in the early 2000s, when a number of same-sex couples started to file lawsuits in various states, arguing that their lack of access to marriage violated their constitutional rights.

Many of these cases were based around a particular clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. This clause, which is known as the “equal protection clause,” states that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Lawyers arguing on behalf of same-sex couples made the case that the exclusion of gay people from marriage was a clear violation of this clause, as it denied them equal protection of the law. They argued that allowing only heterosexual couples to marry was a form of discrimination, and that there was no valid reason why same-sex couples should be excluded.

The Case of Obergefell v. Hodges

After many years of litigation and various court rulings, the issue of gay marriage finally made it to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges.

This case involved a group of same-sex couples who had been denied the right to marry in their home states of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. They argued that the same-sex marriage bans in these states violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court handed down its historic ruling in favor of the same-sex couples. The Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and that states may not refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that “the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty.”

This ruling effectively legalized same-sex marriage across the entire United States, and it was hailed as a major victory for LGBT rights.


In conclusion, the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges made gay marriage legal across the entire United States. The ruling was based on the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection, and it was seen as a major step forward in the fight for LGBT rights. While there is still much work to be done to ensure true equality for LGBT people, the recognition of the right to marry was a significant victory that will have a lasting impact on many people’s lives.


What does the 14th Amendment say about marriage?

The 14th Amendment is a crucial addition to the United States Constitution, enacted in 1868. The amendment guarantees that every individual, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, is entitled to equal protection under the law. This section of the Constitution is often cited in discussions of marriage equality, as it lays out a framework for ensuring that all people have the right to marry the person they choose.

Some people believe that the 14th Amendment explicitly guarantees the right to marry, while others argue that this right is implicit within the amendment’s broader language of equal protection. However, it is worth noting that the Supreme Court has consistently affirmed that the 14th Amendment does protect the right to marry.

In the landmark case of Loving v. Virginia in 1967, the Supreme Court struck down state bans on interracial marriage, ruling that these laws were unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. The court explicitly stated that the right to marry is a fundamental right that cannot be denied to any citizen without compelling justification.

In 2015, the Supreme Court again cited the 14th Amendment in a landmark decision on marriage equality. The court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples have the right to marry, and that this right is protected by the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. The court found that denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated both due process and equal protection under the law.

It is worth noting that the language of the 14th Amendment does not specifically mention marriage, but rather states that all people are entitled to equal protection under the law. However, both Loving v. Virginia and Obergefell v. Hodges relied heavily on the amendment’s fundamental guarantee of equality, which has been broadly interpreted to include the right to marry.

The 14th Amendment is a critical component of the United States Constitution, one that has been invoked and reinterpreted throughout history to expand the rights and protections afforded to all citizens. While the amendment does not explicitly mention marriage, the guarantees of equal protection and due process have been used to enshrine the right to marry as a fundamental right that cannot be denied to any individual.

Is marriage a right under the Constitution?

Marriage is one of the most fundamental and important institutions in our society, and it has been the subject of legal disputes for many years. US courts have long recognized a constitutional right to marry, and this right has been protected by the US Constitution.

The US Constitution does not explicitly mention the right to marry, but the Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection to encompass the right to marry. In 1967, the US Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that bans on interracial marriage were unconstitutional, extending the right to marry to interracial couples nationwide. The Court held that the freedom to marry is “a basic civil right” that is “essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

Since then, the Supreme Court has extended this right to other groups, including same-sex couples. In 2015, the Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, striking down state bans on same-sex marriage across the country. The Court held that denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated both the due process and equal protection guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In addition to constitutional protections, the right to marry is also recognized in international human rights law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, states that “men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.”

The right to marry is a fundamental constitutional right that has been recognized and protected by the US Supreme Court. This right has been extended to all individuals regardless of their race, sex, or sexual orientation and is considered an essential aspect of personal autonomy and the pursuit of happiness.

Is marriage a civil right or liberty?

Marriage is a fundamental aspect of society, and it has long been a topic of debate among scholars and policymakers as to whether it is a civil right or a civil liberty. The distinction between these two terms is important as it determines how the law treats marriage, and it can have significant implications for individuals who may face discrimination or exclusion based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other factors that should not factor into the decision to marry.

Civil rights refer to the basic rights that are guaranteed by law to all citizens, regardless of their background or identity. These include the right to vote, the right to equal treatment under the law, and the right to be free from discrimination based on one’s race, gender, or other protected characteristics. The right to marry is often considered a civil right because it is a legal right that is protected by the Constitution and is guaranteed to all citizens under the law.

On the other hand, civil liberties are more related to the individual’s freedom from government interference in their lives. It includes the freedom of speech, religion, and association. They are considered to be an essential aspect of the democratic system and the rule of law, and they protect individuals from excessive government power.

The right to marry falls within the intersection of both concepts. It is considered a civil liberty because it is a fundamental aspect of personal autonomy and privacy, which are protected against governmental intrusion by the constitution. At the same time, it is also a civil right because it is an expression of the right to association and equal treatment under the law, which are protected by many laws and court decisions.

The issue of same-sex marriage has brought the debate over the nature of marriage into the forefront of public discussion. Many people argue that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is a violation of their civil rights, as they are being treated unequally because of their sexual orientation. In contrast, others argue that marriage is a conservative institution that should be preserved as between a man and a woman, and that same-sex couples have no civil rights claim to it.

The question of whether marriage is a civil right or a civil liberty is not easy to answer. It is a complex issue that requires examination of both legal and philosophical perspectives. However, it is clear that the right to marry is an essential aspect of our society and that it should be protected against discrimination and exclusion based on an individual’s identity or characteristics. society must find a way to balance the protection of individual freedoms with the protection of the core values that underpin the institution of marriage.