U.S. Supreme Court case, marriage equality, marriage benefits, summary reversal, equal protection, discriminatory encroachment of governments


In 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States in Obergefell v. Hodges recognized the constitutional right of all persons, including same-sex couples, to lawfully marry. In 2017, in Pavan v. Smith, the Court recognized that Obergefell extends that right to much more than the act of marriage in itself. Any person who would have been denied the right to marry the person of her choice before Obergefell now enjoys not only the rights of marriage licensing and recognition, but also the full “constellation” of rights and responsibilities that attend marriage among traditional opposite-sex couples. The Court believed that this interpretation was so plainly visible on Obergefell’s face that it rendered its decision in Pavan summarily, without oral argument.