Today, April 28, 2015, Justices at the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments as to whether marriage between the same sex is a constitutional right. At stake is whether the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires states to recognize marriages from other states and whether it requires states to allow same-sex marriages. Many feel the federal government should not be involved in the issue and it should remain a state issue. One of the many problems with that scenario is there are many federal tax and benefits implications that may outweigh 10th Amendment concerns.
The case centers on a Ohio same-sex couple, whereas Jim Obergefell could not be considered a surviving spouse of his partner who was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. At the same time, the court is hearing similar cases from Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. It is expected to be argued, Obergefell should be considered the surviving spouse under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution and also the due process clause. If ruled in favor of Obergefell, it would force states that do not recognize same-sex marriage, like Ohio, to do so. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was precisely one of the Libertarian Party’s objectives – to end the federal ban on same-sex marriages.