Updated May 27, 2023
Recently, courts across the country have handed down several decisions involving LGBT relationship rights. Additionally, June 12 was the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia, which held that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were illegal.
Because the U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what is law in the United States, many speculate that the Court is going to eventually rule on the issue of same-sex marriage. So over the course of the next couple of months, I’ll provide a little case history on the decisions below (Griswold, Loving, Bowers, Romer, Lawrence, Prop 8, and Windsor) considered landmark decisions by many in the area of privacy and relationship rights. Windsor v. U.S. is not a Supreme Court case, but may be headed there just the same, and Proposition 8 (“Prop 8”) involves the California statute banning same-sex marriages that was ruled unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit. Proponents of Prop 8 have already stated that they will appeal it to the the U.S. Supreme Court.
Why does this matter to estate planners? Because we plan for families and the recent decisions are pointing toward a fundamental shift in the national, legal definition of family.