Case Analysis: Obergefell V. Hodges

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The future of same-sex marriage has long been a question in the United States; on June 26, 2015, under the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, the country finally got an answer. In a five to four decision, the Supreme court determined that under the Fourteenth Amendment, marriage between same- sex couples is legal in all fifty states. Under this decision, states that had previously banned same-sex marriage will have to recognize and permit same-sex marriage within their boundaries. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges is a landmark decision that will not affect same-sex couples throughout the nation, but also every aspect of our society. Having been hired by a sociologist who wants to study the effect of…show more content…
Hodges, plays a role in producing social change, I would first recommend the sociologist to define social change. Defining social change can be hard, as the definition varies depending on the way an individual chooses to look at it. As mentioned in “Law as an Instrument of Social Change,” “ ...social change is simi-larly tricky to define… there is no consensus about what constitutes social change. Social change resulting from law can include redistributing resources among social groups, reconfiguring social practices and interaction, or reconstituting social meanings ” (Albiston, 143). After having defined social change, I would recommend the sociologist to look for several forms of change, including social change at the individual level and at the institutional level. In the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the sociologist should consider looking at different areas in order to determine the social changes taking place in both the individual…show more content…
The myth of rights perspective, coined by Scheingold, argues that “... the recognition that rights are not self - executing but must be mobilized to be effective” (Albiston, 545). As mentioned by Professor Albiston, the myth of rights is skeptical that any real change results from court decisions and rights litigation. In terms of the Obergefell v. Hodges, many people view the case from the myth of rights perspective arguing that like in the decision of Brown vs. Board of Education, the decision of this case will not actually bring about real changes initially; however, maybe in the long run, it will. For example, same-sex couples will now be able to marry, but they will likely continue to face discrimination for their actions and sexuality not only by their church, but by some people in society. Moreover, according to this perspective, rights require mobilization, which is difficult under circumstances of unequal power. According to Miller and Sarat, when taking into account the myth of rights, “... empirical research demonstrated that mobilization was the exception, not the rule” (Miller and Sarat, 1981). Moreover, according to Rosenberg, empirical research also suggests that “... litigation fails to produce lasting social change because courts lack institutional authority to implement radical

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