SOURCE: Nessel & Kessel Law

June 30, 2015 16:20 ET

The Supreme Court of the United States Rules to Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal in Michigan, the Sixth Circuit, and Throughout the Nation

DETROIT, MI--(Marketwired - Jun 30, 2015) - The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled last week that same-sex couples in Michigan, the Sixth Circuit, and across the nation have the same legal right to marriage as their opposite-sex counterparts.  In a hotly contested 5-4 ruling, the Court ruled that, under the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, all citizens -- regardless of residence and sexual orientation -- are guaranteed the fundamental right to marry; and as such, no state may ban same-sex marriage. This long-awaited decision affects Nessel & Kessel's clients, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, and families like theirs across Michigan and the United States.

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death," wrote Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy in his majority opinion. "It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed."

It is expected that marriages will begin in Michigan immediately. Clerks in several counties throughout the state ready this morning to issue marriage licenses to eager same-sex couples.

"It was a great day; not just for the hundreds of thousands of couples whom this ruling will affect, but for this country as a whole," said Chris Kessel, Partner at Nessel & Kessel Law. "By ruling as it did, the Supreme Court reminded us that the promise of equality to all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, should not be a dream, but a reality."

Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and most vocally, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia were those dissenting members of the bench. Justice Scalia wrote, "The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality," he quoted from the majority opinion before adding, "Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie."

The full opinion can be read online.

About Nessel & Kessel Law
Nessel & Kessel Law is Michigan's premier litigation firm. Serving clients that require the area's top criminal defense attorneys or a skilled civil litigator, Dana Nessel and Chris Kessel have the experience to get the best results. Nessel & Kessel Law represents clients in all lower peninsula district courts, circuit courts, appellate courts, as well as the United States Court for the Eastern District. For more information, visit

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