In a landmark 5-4 decision announced today, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Obergefell v. Hodges that, under the 14th Amendment, states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex unions that have been legally performed in other states. Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.
Obergefell is the consolidation of four separate lawsuits from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee in which same-sex couples challenged their states’ refusal to recognize their marriages or permit them to marry in those states. The Court’s decision nullifies the bans against marriage equality in 14 states.
“Two years ago today, we celebrated the right for same-sex couples to marry in California,” said Christine Wang, President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley (APABA Silicon Valley), “and today we are thrilled to celebrate the rights of our LGBT colleagues, brothers, sisters, and friends to marry and enjoy the same legal rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples nationwide.”
This historic victory makes the United States the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. APABA Silicon Valley has long supported marriage equality, from past presidents Andrew Vu and Thanh Ngo leading the Board to adopt a resolution in favor of it in 2005 to joining in numerous supporting Amicus Briefs. We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for granting same-sex couples equal dignity in the eyes of the law today.