On Tuesday the US Supreme Court began hearing the case of Obergefall v Hodges, which asks if states require marriage licences to be between two people of the same sex or gender. The case comes as a massive merger of cases from around the country in the challenging of state laws that forbid same-sex marriage.
The suit came to ground when Ohio resident John Arthur had passed away from a terminal illness. His partner, James Obergefell submitted the death certificate with him as the surviving spouse as they were wed in a state that allows same sex marriages in Maryland. Ohio law currently states that marriages that are solemnized outside of Ohio must be upheld in the state regards of Ohio's laws.
Long Road Traveled
The suit, originally filed in 2013 was taken to district court and ruled in favour of the plaintiff in February the following year. The state ultimately were given a restraining order, forcing them to either accept the certificate if and only if it labeled Obergefell as the surviving partner. The state appealed and in 2014 the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ruling. Just this past winter, the motion for the case to be heard by the Supreme Court was filed, with the opening proceedings taking place on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court is now being asked whether states are required to uphold and provided marriage licences for same sex marriages and if marriages made in states that have already legalized and recognize same sex marriages be upheld by states like Ohio.