Equal Protection under the Law

Equal Protection under the Law

Essentially, the Equal Protection Clause established by the 14th Amendment seeks to prohibit anyone from being denied equal protection of the laws. In the case of marriage, the clause would be violated if heterosexual couples were granted the right to marriage while same-sex couples are denied the same right. The due process consideration brings to the fore the right to privacy and right to marry. While the right to marry provides a fundamental right to marry that an individual have regardless the sex of the partner one seeks to marry, the right to privacy includes same-sex marriage in an uninfringeable sphere of safety with which the one is free to make fundamental choices regarding their identities and lives without state intrusion, constraint and punishment. Prohibition of same-sex marriages would institutionalize sex-based classifications, and such discriminates against lesbians and gays (Ginsberg et al., 2013).

In making the ruling in Loving v. Virginia 1967, the Chief Justice Earl Warren argued that the freedom of marriage is a vital personal right crucial to the orderly pursuit of happiness. With marriage being a “basic civil rights of man,” denying this fundamental freedom to same-sex couples would consist a deprivation of liberty without due process of law. The Equal Protection Clause guarantees sex equality, and this supports the same-sex marriages, as the Equal Protection Clause is protective of gender non-conformity consistent with same-sex marriages.

In conclusion, there lacks a compelling reason that same-sex marriages would disturb the fundamental value that marriage has in the society as the couples seek to be married (Ginsberg et al., 2013). It would constitute a violation of their rights if same-sex marriages were prohibited if the couples have the will of embracing the solemn obligations of marriage such as mutual support, exclusivity and commitment to one another.


Ginsberg, B., Lowi, T. J., Weir, M., Tolbert, C. J., & Spitzer, R. J. (2013). We the People (Ninth ed.). New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 395 (U.S. Supreme Court April 10, 1967).

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