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To the contrary, it is the enduring importance of marriage that underlies the petitioners’ contentions. Far from seeking to devalue marriage, the petitioners seek it for themselves because of their respect—and need—for its privileges and responsibilities.

And their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment.

They fell in love and started a life together, establishing a lasting, committed relation.

In 2011, however, Arthur was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Later in the century, cultural and political developments allowed same-sex couples to lead more open and public lives. (1) The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed. 810, a one-line summary decision issued in 1972, holding that the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage did not present a substantial federal question. (2) Four principles and traditions demonstrate that the reasons marriage is fundamental under the Constitution apply with equal force to same-sex couples.

Extensive public and private dialogue followed, along with shifts in public attitudes. (b) The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. Applying these tenets, the Court has long held the right to marry is protected by the Constitution. But other, more instructive precedents have expressed broader principles. This analysis compels the conclusion that same-sex couples may exercise the right to marry. The first premise of this Court’s relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.

Respondents’ argument that allowing same-sex couples to wed will harm marriage as an institution rests on a counterintuitive view of opposite-sex couples’ decisions about marriage and parenthood. (c) The Fourteenth Amendment requires States to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed out of State. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES _________________ Nos. A From their beginning to their most recent page, the annals of human history reveal the transcendent importance of marriage.

Finally, the First Amendment ensures that religions, those who adhere to religious doctrines, and others have protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths. Since same-sex couples may now exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States, there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character. 14–556, 14-562, 14-571 and 14–574 _________________ JAMES OBERGEFELL, delivered the opinion of the Court. The lifelong union of a man and a woman always has promised nobility and dignity to all persons, without regard to their station in life.

See Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The petitioners, 14 same-sex couples and two men whose same-sex partners are deceased, filed suits in Federal District Courts in their home States, claiming that respondent state officials violate the Fourteenth Amendment by denying them the right to marry or to have marriages lawfully performed in another State given full recognition. (1) The history of marriage as a union between two persons of the opposite sex marks the beginning of these cases.

Recounting the circumstances of three of these cases illustrates the urgency of the petitioners’ cause from their perspective.

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