In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Kennedy and joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, the United State Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Obergefell at al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al. on June 26, 2015.

The essence of the holding is that:

  1. 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 of the Constitution, couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty;
  2. The state laws challenged by the petitioners in the consolidated cases before the Court are invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.Beth-West-15_web


Continue Reading The U.S. Supreme Court Has Spoken – The 14th Amendment Requires States to Recognize Same Sex Marriage

In our previous post, Same-Sex Marriage Partners Now Covered by FMLA, we reported on the final FMLA rule that expanded the definition of “spouse” under the FMLA to include employees in legal same-sex marriages. Although this rule took effect on March 27, 2015, a federal district court ruling in Texas left the status of

S. Plamondon_webOn February 25, 2015, the United States Department of Labor issued new rules designed to revise the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”).  The new rules amend the regulatory definition of spouse under the FMLA so that it now specifically includes employees in legal same-sex marriages so

By:  Chelcey E. Lieber

As widely reported, and as discussed in our blog post “Supreme Court Rules DOMA Section 3 Unconstitutional”, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had defined marriage as a legal union only between one man and one woman. The Court’s 5-4 vote in U.S. v. Windsor means that same-sex couples who are legally married now must be treated in the same manner under federal law as married opposite-sex couples.

Continue Reading The Impact of U.S. Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision on FMLA