Section 1 of the 14th Amendment

On one of the next two Mondays, the Supreme Court will rule on Obergefell v Hodges and the argument is based on Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution:  as follows:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

An article in The New Yorker recently states that this is the argument which was successful in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in 2003 (the first state to allow same-sex marriage) and in US v Windsor which struck down DOMA in 2012.  Justice Kennedy wrote that majority opinion, alleging that DOMA violated “the Constitution’s guarantee of equality–specifically the equal protection clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”   The New Yorker article stressed that “he did not utter the word ‘privacy’, which had been, for many years, the unsuccessful legal argument for gay (and women’s) rights.

The privacy argument failed (or has led to controversy as in Roe v Wade) but the equal rights decision can hold, over time, the article claims.

I found this article impressive and encouraging.   I am grateful for those clauses of the 14th Amendment.   I wanted to share it here….Eleanor Ketcham

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