Supreme Court Rules On Same-Sex Marriage

Supreme Court Rules On Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex couples in North Carolina and every other state in the country can now have their marriages legally recognized. On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, 36 states and the District of Columbia had passed laws recognizing same-sex marriage, while other states had passed laws prohibiting the practice.

The case that was before the Supreme Court involved two men who were married in Maryland. When one of the men died, the other man wanted to be recognized as a surviving spouse by the state of Ohio. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled in favor of Ohio’s refusal, based on the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, but the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Ohio must recognize the marriage.

After the Supreme Court ruling was announced, President Obama said that it was a victory for America. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority that although marriage has been defined as a union between a man and a woman, the institution has evolved over time. Justice Antonin Scalia, who dissented, wrote that the decision was a threat to democracy and essentially made the Supreme Court into a ruler.

The Supreme Court’s historic ruling could benefit same-sex couples by providing them with the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. Now, a same-sex couple that is divorcing or has family law issues to sort out may go through the same legal process as any other couple. An attorney may be able to represent a spouse who is going through a same-sex divorce by engaging in settlement negotiations.

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