The 14th Amendment established that no group should be denied equal rights or protection under the law. So when it comes to marriage, same-sex couples can't be denied the same protections and rights guaranteed under federal and state marriage laws to other groups. This is the very foundation for the Supreme Court rulings that deemed federal and state bans on same-sex marriages to be unconstitutional. It is the statute that legalized same-sex marriages across the country.
'The authors of the 14th Amendment rejected drafts and proposals that would have limited the 14th Amendment just to racial discrimination,' Judith Schaeffer, vice president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, said in June. 'Instead, they put in language that protects any person — not just on the basis of race, but any person.'
The 14th Amendment has been used in marriage cases before: In Loving v. Virginia in 1967, the Supreme Court concluded that states' bans on interracial marriages discriminated against interracial couples and were therefore unconstitutional. Although Huckabee told Stephanopoulos that Loving v. Virginia was totally different, the legal rationale for it was the same as the decisions in the same-sex marriage cases: Just as interracial marriage bans violated interracial couples' rights under the 14th Amendment, so too did same-sex marriage bans violate same-sex couples' rights under the 14th Amendment.