Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Second Department

Legal Studies

Reader 1

Mark Golub

Reader 2

Thomas Kim

Reader 3

Kenneth Miller

Rights Information

© 2014 Tracy Yao


Marriage equality exists in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Activists are waiting on the Supreme Court to issue a ruling and bring the movement to its conclusion. Critics of litigation claim that its effects are limited at best, and that the movement's desired result could be achieved without stepping foot in a courtroom. This Article seeks to examine the marriage equality movement's strategy for getting to this point, particularly the role of courts, and argues that litigation was an effective and necessary means of expanding the freedom to marry.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.