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Since the dawn of history, marriage has transformed strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together. Were their intent to demean the revered idea and reality of marriage, the petitioners’ claims would be of a different order.

Confucius taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government. But that is neither their purpose nor their submission.

This dynamic can be seen in the Nation’s experience with gay and lesbian rights. Courts must exercise reasoned judgment in identifying interests of the person so fundamental that the State must accord them its respect.

Well into the 20th century, many States condemned same-sex intimacy as immoral, and homosexuality was treated as an illness. History and tradition guide and discipline the inquiry but do not set its outer boundaries.

A ruling against same-sex couples would have the same effect and would be unjustified under the Fourteenth Amendment. TOP Opinion NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. The petitioners claim the respondents violate the Fourteenth Amendment by denying them the right to marry or to have their marriages, lawfully performed in another State, given full recognition. The second, presented by the cases from Ohio, Tennessee, and, again, Kentucky, is whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to recognize a same-sex marriage licensed and performed in a State which does grant that right.

In 2011, however, Arthur was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.Each District Court ruled in petitioners’ favor, but the Sixth Circuit consolidated the cases and reversed. (a) Before turning to the governing principles and precedents, it is appropriate to note the history of the subject now before the Court. To the respondents, it would demean a timeless institution if marriage were extended to same-sex couples. (2) The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change.: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State. But the petitioners, far from seeking to devalue marriage, seek it for themselves because of their respect—and need—for its privileges and responsibilities, as illustrated by the petitioners’ own experiences. Changes, such as the decline of arranged marriages and the abandonment of the law of coverture, have worked deep transformations in the structure of marriage, affecting aspects of marriage once viewed as essential.Later in the century, cultural and political developments allowed same-sex couples to lead more open and public lives. (1) The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed. 810, a one-line summary decision issued in 1972, holding that the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage did not present a substantial federal question. (2) Four principles and traditions demonstrate that the reasons marriage is fundamental under the Constitution apply with equal force to same-sex couples.Extensive public and private dialogue followed, along with shifts in public attitudes. (b) The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. Applying these tenets, the Court has long held the right to marry is protected by the Constitution. But other, more instructive precedents have expressed broader principles. This analysis compels the conclusion that same-sex couples may exercise the right to marry. The first premise of this Court’s relevant precedents is that the right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of individual autonomy.