Noteworthy Court Cases That Have Furthered Equal Rights for LGBTQ Americans

Filed under: SCOTUS
  • Obergefell v. Hodges, June 26, 2015

The Supreme Court of the United States held that marriage is a fundamental right to which same-sex couples should have the same access as opposite-sex couples, bringing marriage equality nationwide.

  • United States v. Windsor, June 26, 2013

The Supreme Court of the United States found the section of the federal “Defense of Marriage Act” which limited federal marriage recognition to opposite-sex couples to be unconstitutional, ensuring that the federal government was allowed to recognize all legally married same-sex couples.

  • Lawrence v. Texas, June 26, 2003

​The Supreme Court of the United States holds that sodomy statutes are unconstitutional; gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals have a right to engage in private, consensual sexual conduct.

  • Romer v. Evans, May 20, 1996

The Supreme Court of the United States holds that Colorado’s anti-gay referendum violates the Equal Protection Clause, reasoning that bare animus directed toward gay individuals is not a legitimate state interest.

  • Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973

The Supreme Court of the United States found the right to privacy is broad enough to apply to abortion with some limitations. While not the first case to recognize the right of privacy, efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade center on challenging the existence of a right to privacy. If this case were to be overturned, it would potentially have a negative impact on all subsequent decisions based on a right to privacy, such as Lawrence