Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2016


This thesis explores the expression of polarization surrounding the most recent same-sex marriage case in the Supreme Court, Obergefell v. Hodges. 28 amicus briefs, submitted from interested groups and concerned individuals in support of either the petitioners or the respondents, were analyzed for the major points of concurrence and disagreement between the two sides. The aim of the study was to come to a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which both sides express their arguments either for or against same-sex marriage. What the findings of the content analysis suggest is that interest groups on both side of the same-sex marriage debate are not polarized merely because they are dissimilar. Instead, they are polarized because they possess many of the same values about the importance of marriage, family, and Constitutional law in society, but they differ as far as their methods of maintaining the sanctity of these institutions for future generations.