The marriage bans challenged in these cases impermissibly exclude lesbian and gay couples from the rights, responsibilities, and status of civil marriage. These facially discriminatory laws impose concrete harms on same-sex couples and send the inescapable message that same-sex couples and their children are second-class families, unworthy of the recognition and benefits that opposite-sex couples take for granted. The bans cannot be reconciled with the fundamental constitutional guarantee of “equal protection of the laws,” U.S. Const. Amend. XIV.
Or perhaps simply an overview from Ryan J. Reilly of Huffington Post:
The Obama administration thinks the Supreme Court should rule that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, according to a brief filed by Justice Department lawyers on Friday. The administration takes the position that those laws violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.
The amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to find such bans “incompatible with the Constitution” because they “exclude a long-mistreated class of human beings from a legal and social status of tremendous import.”
The court will hear oral arguments in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges in April.
Honestly, the only surprise here is that now we need to figure out whence came the notion this one was going forward under DeBoer, the case out of Michigan.
Verrilli Jr., Donald B. “Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae Supporting Petitioners”. Obergefell v. Hodges. Supreme Court fo the United States. March, 2015.
Reilly, Ryan J. “Gay Marriage Bans Are Unconstitutional, DOJ Tells Supreme Court”. The Huffington Post. 6 March 2015.