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:
- 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;
- 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.