In Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court held that “[t]he right to marry is a fundamental inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty.” This historic opinion means that same sex couples in the U.S. can marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer restrict marriage only to heterosexual couples. While opinion polls now show a solid majority nationwide supporting marriage equality, that level of support is not uniform and this 5-4 decision will not eliminate continued debate and controversy.

However, marriage equality is now the law of the land. States must allow same sex couples to wed and governments, and employers must extend the rights and benefits of marriage to wedded same sex couples.