Last June, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marital unions are a constitutional right, and that every state must perform same-sex marriages. Even if a same-sex marriage was performed out-of-state, the state where the couple resides must now recognize that marriage as lawful and valid.
The Court’s decision was rooted in 14th Amendment jurisprudence, making the issue one of equal protection. Same-sex marriages are now afforded the same protections as those that have always been afforded to heterosexual unions.
Opponents of marriage equality argued that traditionally in this country, marriage has always been between a man and a woman. But Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of the Court’s opinion, responded that the law should adapt to accommodate the evolving norms of recent generations. According to the Court, relatively recent changes in the law, such as the legalization of bi-racial marriage, have only strengthened the institution.
Kennedy closed by expressing that marriage embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. He stated that the same-sex couples that petitioned the Court to marry demonstrated the utmost respect for the institution of marriage. Their strong desire to be included in the tradition is evidence of this, he said. Thus, the Court found that the protections of the law should be available to consenting adults who respect the union regardless of their sexual orientation.
This decision paves the way for new legal precedent that protects LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) citizens in other types of cases. The same argument about an evolving set of norms could be applied to cases involving employment discrimination and hate crimes.
The field of LGBT family law is still largely uncharted. Additional complications can arise in same-sex marriages, for example if a couple desires to adopt a child. Moreover, the Court’s ruling will eventually lead to new case law addressing the dissolution of same-sex marriages. Child custody in same-sex divorces also poses unique legal challenges.
Baltimore Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC Assist Same-Sex Couples With All Aspects of Family Law
The field of LGBT family law is still uncharted, but the knowledgeable Baltimore divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC can help protect your rights. Our experienced attorneys can assist you with prenuptial issues, child custody, child support, and divorce. We represent same-sex couples throughout Baltimore County and Stevenson. Call 410-602-9522 today to arrange a confidential consultation or contact us online.