Same-sex marriage has been one of the most controversial and divisive topics in the United States since the 1970s. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Obergefell vs Hodges which granted same-sex couples the legal right to marry in every state (Oyez). Obergefell vs Hodges required states to recognize same-sex marriages that were formed in other states (Oyez). This ruling marked the most important victory for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite (LGBT) community in the United States' history. Although this landmark case granted basic human rights to millions of Americans that were previously deprived, there remains strong opposition to the ruling.
The origin of Obergefell vs Hodges consists of six law suits spanning four states. The first lawsuit included in the Supreme Court case was DeBoer vs Snyder in Michigan (Oyez). In Deboer vs Snyder, the plaintiffs sued the state of Michigan over the state law which restricted child adoptions to single or married individuals. The plaintiffs were two women who were legally together in a civil union for five years and they legally adopted three children from out of state. The plaintiffs argued that their family structure was nether better or worse for their children than if they were parented by a married heterosexual couple or single parent. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that the adoption law was unconstitutional in February 2014 (Oyez). .
The second lawsuit consolidated in the Supreme Court case was Obergefell vs Kasich from Ohio (Oyez). The plaintiff, James Obergefell, sued the state of Ohio for the right to have his name listed as the surviving spouse on his male partner's death certificate. The plaintiffs won in October 2013 after District Judge Timothy Black ruled that, "when a state effectively terminates the marriage of a same-sex couple married in another jurisdiction, it intrudes into the realm of private marital, family, and intimate relations specifically protected by the Supreme Court" (Oyez).