A Review of the Year in Family Law 2014­–2015: Family Law Continues to Evolve as Marriage Equality Is Attained

Posted: 27 Jul 2017 Last revised: 28 Jul 2017

See all articles by Linda D. Henry Elrod

Linda D. Henry Elrod

Washburn University - School of Law

Robert G. Spector

University of Oklahoma - College of Law

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court settled the question of marriage equality in a five-to-four decision written by Justice Kennedy, which declared that marriage is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person. Therefore, state bans on same-sex marriage are invalid under both equal protection and due process analysis. The majority found that liberty extends to “certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices that define personal identity and beliefs.” Same-sex married couples will now become presumed parents under most state laws that recognized children born to a marriage as “legitimate.” However, questions remain for nonbiological, nonadoptive same-sex partners who do not marry. In addition, there will be some questions as to the statutory exemptions for religious institutions, the limits of free-speech-clause defenses, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and religious accommodation requirements under employment law, but the right to marry and to have the marriage recognized by all states is now clear.

Note: ©2016 by the American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

Suggested Citation

Elrod, Linda D. Henry and Spector, Robert G., A Review of the Year in Family Law 2014­–2015: Family Law Continues to Evolve as Marriage Equality Is Attained (2016). Family Law Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 4, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3008909

Linda D. Henry Elrod (Contact Author)

Washburn University - School of Law ( email )

1700 College Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621
United States
(785) 231-1010 x1838 (Phone)
(785) 231-1037 (Fax)

Robert G. Spector

University of Oklahoma - College of Law ( email )

300 Timberdell Road
Norman, OK 73019
United States

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