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Abstract

By upholding a nationwide right to marry for same-sex couples in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court’s enormously significant decision resolves a major civil rights question that has percolated through our legal system and coursed through our culture for some time. The ruling was not an unforeseen outcome, but it brings welcome clarity by ensuring marriage rights for same-sex couples throughout all fifty states. Building on United States v. Windsor—a 2013 decision striking down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevented gay and lesbian married couples from receiving federal benefits—Obergefell is an important and fitting capstone to prior cases about the constitutional rights of same-sex couples.

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