The States and Same-Sex Marriage

The States and Same-Sex Marriage

In the wake of US v. Windsor, federal courts across the US confronted the issue of whether individual state bans on same-sex marriage violated the US Constitution. A circuit split emerged after the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld state bans on same-sex marriage, departing from the general trend of federal courts finding these bans unconstitutional. Taken as a whole, these post-Windsor challenges represent the latest stage of the legal battle for the recognition of same-sex marriages. While Windsor addressed the issue at the federal level, the recently granted petition for certiorari in Obergefell v. Hodges will see the US Supreme Court address the issue as it applies to the states. This Feature summarizes the development of legal recognition for same-sex marriage in federal and state courts, reviews the wave of post-Windsor cases challenging state same-sex marriage bans and provides an overview of Obergefell v. Hodges.