Deboer v. Snyder involved a challenge to Michigan’s constitutional provision providing for a definition of traditional marriage. The federal district court ruled that the Michigan Marriage Amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
On appeal to the Sixth Circuit, CLDEF’s amicus curiae brief supported the state’s constitutional definition of marriage and argued that the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment provides no basis for overturning the Michigan Marriage Amendment.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the States’ traditional definitions of marriage.
The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari, and consolidated the Deboer case with cases from three other states — Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee — under the name Obergefell v. Hodges. In one of the most outrageous decisions ever issued by a court, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Michigan Marriage Amendment violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. As Justice Roberts stated in dissent, this case had nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution.