The Fourteenth Amendment and Marriage Equality - Virtual

Teacher: Chris Herr and Tristan Black-Ingersoll

Editor: Corey Genest

General Description

Abstract:
The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments slowed (but hardly eliminated) the pervasive racial discrimination that was a principal cause of the Civil War. The principle of equal protection is embodied in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution and in general prohibits governments from passing laws that treat citizens differently without good reason. Racial discrimination has always been viewed under strict scrutiny by the Supreme Court, and other groups have successfully challenged federal and state laws as being indefensibly discriminatory. State laws have historically limited marriage to marriage between a man and a woman, yet over time more and more Americans began to challenge this conception of marriage and demanded marriage equality that allowed equal access to the benefits of marriage for same-sex couples. A series of legal challenges to state laws eventually resulted in the Supreme Court affirming the Constitution’s protection of marriage equality under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Essential Question:
  • Should marriage equality be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment?

Materials and Documents

Quote
Today, I was almost brought to tears (of joy) with NH Institute for Civics Education's Civics 603 program. It was just a wonderful day. To top it off, I just got this text message from a student who asked me to send him pictures: "Thank you so much for this opportunity. It was a lot of fun and an amazing experience." Thank you everyone!
- Dina Michael Chaitowitz
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