While this Court has never attempted to catalogue systematically all the circumstances that indicate the existence of constitutionally impermissible animus, there are several objective factors that have been considered by this Court to be relevant. They include: (1) the law’s text; (2) the political and legal context of its passage, including the legislative proceedings and history and evidence that can be gleaned from the sequence of events that led to passage; (3)the law’s real-world impact or effects; and (4) the government’s failure to offer legitimate objectives for the law along with means that truly advance those objectives. See, e.g., Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2693–94; Romer, 517 U.S. at 634–35; Cleburne, 473 U.S. at 448; Arlington Heights, 429 U.S. at 266–68; Moreno, 413 U.S. at 536–38. As discussed below, because each and every one of these factors is present here, there is more than sufficient basis for this Court to conclude that the design, purpose, and effect of the laws at issue in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee are “not to further a proper legislative end but to make [gay people] unequal to everyone else.” Romer, 517 U.S. at 635.
It is absurd to contend that refusing to certify that a decedent was “married” to his spouse at the time of his death could possibly influence child rearing, or the willingness of straight couples to marry, or even offend tradition. But actions speak louder than words. Ohio insists that there must be a blank space on Mr. Arthur’s death certificate where Mr. Obergefell’s name should be. Not content to deny these men the equal protection of the law in life, it also seeks to deny them dignity even in death. Ohio’s decision to reject this reasonable request to correct a factually inaccurate death certificate speaks volumes about what is really going on, leaving no doubt that the true motivation behind these laws is constitutionally impermissible animus against gay people.