States cannot ban same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision Friday morning.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion firmly stresses marriage, as well as benefits that come with marriage, as rights guaranteed to gay and lesbian couples by the Constitution.
“The right to marry is a fundamental right 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,” he wrote. “Same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry.”
Now that same-sex marriage is legal across the country, more same-sex couples will be eligible for these federal benefits and protections. This may help simplify the administration of employee benefits for employers with multistate operations.
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