July 01, 2015

Advising Same-Sex Couples after Obergefell and Windsor

Arlene Zarembka

Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5–4 decision written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, held that Section 3 of the federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Constitution. United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013). Section 3 prohibited any federal recognition of same-sex marriages at any level of the federal government and limited the definition of “spouse” to a “person of the opposite-sex who is a husband or wife.” The Windsor Court did not decide, however, whether a state must recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed outside the state or grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples within the state.

Premium Content For:
  • Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division
  • Small Firm
  • Solo