Amicus Brief in Obergefell v. Hodges

48 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2015 Last revised: 21 Mar 2015

Date Written: March 10, 2015


This Supreme Court amicus brief argues that denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry is sex discrimination.

If April DeBoer were a man, or James Obergefell a woman, or Valeria Tanco a man, or Greg Bourke a woman, then state law would readily give them the relief they seek. But because the state laws challenged in these cases provide that only a man can marry a woman and only a woman can marry a man – or that existing marriages will be denied recognition if they do not fi t this description – April and James and Valeria and Greg are being discriminated against on the basis of their sex. Such gender-based classifications constitute sex discrimination. Accordingly, they must be subjected to intermediate scrutiny.

Keywords: same-sex marriage, sex discrimination, gay rights

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Koppelman, Andrew M. and Somin, Ilya, Amicus Brief in Obergefell v. Hodges (March 10, 2015). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 15-12, George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 15-10, Available at SSRN: or

Andrew M. Koppelman (Contact Author)

Northwestern University School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-8431 (Phone)

Ilya Somin

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8069 (Phone)
703-993-8124 (Fax)


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