Neil Foster is an Associate Professor at Newcastle Law School (Australia). His blog, Law and Religion Australia, treats Law and Religion issues not only in Australia and other Commonwealth nations, but in the United States and elsewhere.
Recognition of “same-sex marriage” has been proceeding apace in Western societies for the last few decades. Adoption of same-sex marriage, however, raises religious freedom issues. It does so because the move effectively amounts to a change in a nation’s public morality and takes a stance on the issue as to what kind of sexual activity is legitimate, which is in sharp opposition to the views taken by mainstream religions for many years. Representatives of those religions have long been involved in solemnizing marriages; questions now arise as to whether they will be required to solemnize same-sex unions. Similar issues arise for believers involved as small businesses in related “wedding industries.” At a broader level, the change means that many religious groups are now opposed to the wider societal consensus on the question of sexual morality, and questions are raised as to whether they will still be able to play a role in the public life of the community.
On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States issued its momentous opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges. Only a few SCOTUS decisions have provoked such strong debate over the majority’s arguments and its understanding of human dignity or the nature of judicial power. In this blog conversation, American and European legal scholars and lawyers reflect on the postmodern understanding of marriage that inspired the decision and on the consequences of Obergefell for promotion of LGBTI-people’s rights, on religious exemptions, on democracy in the United States, on children’s rights, on the European Court of Human Right’s jurisprudence, and on the search for the compromise between religious freedom and anti-discrimination claims. This variety of reflections, both positive and critical, illustrates how the decision has become an important episode in American and global legal and human rights history. Continue reading “Obergefell v. Hodges: Five Years Later”
Tanner Beanis an Attorney with the law firm Fabian VanCott in Salt Lake City, Utah
Robin Fretwell Wilson is Director, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois System & Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law
However a person viewed marriage equality in the run up to Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 United States Supreme Court case that opened marriage to same-sex couples, it showed that marriage matters to Americans. The plaintiffs in Obergefell sought access to marriage on the same grounds as heterosexual couples, for reasons as pedestrian as filing joint taxes (just one of over a thousand statutory benefits of marriage) to those as meaningful as joining their lives in ways that communities and families recognize as significant. Continue reading “Obergefell, Our Common Humanity, and Putting Children First”