A review of the same-sex marriage case Bostic v. Schaefer that went through the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit on July 28, 2014.
By Laura W. Morgan, Family Law Consultant
Like dominoes, statutes and state constitutional provisions banning same-sex marriage and the recognition thereof continue to fall. In this opinion, applying strict scrutiny, the court held that each of the arguments put forth by the proponents of the ban [(1) Virginia’s federalism-based interest in maintaining control over the definition of marriage within its borders, (2) the history and tradition of opposite-sex marriage, (3) protecting the institution of marriage, (4) encouraging responsible procreation, and (5) promoting the optimal childrearing environment ] failed.
We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.
Laura W. Morgan is the owner and operator at Family Law Consulting in Charlottesville, Virginia.Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website. www.famlawconsult.com
State Supreme Courts have ignored the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which states that discrimination against same-sex couples is a violation of the constitution. Essentially, these states are undermining same-sex marriage under the guise of “religious liberty.”