The Constitution protects two distinct types of association

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The Constitution protects two distinct types of association: (1) freedom of expressive association, protected by the First Amendment, and (2) freedom of intimate association, a privacy interest derived from the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment but also related to the First Amendment. See Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609, 617–18, 104 S.Ct. 3244, 82 L.Ed.2d 462 (1984); Akers v. McGinnis, 352 F.3d 1030, 1035 (6th Cir.2003); Corrigan v. City of Newaygo, 55 F.3d 1211, 1214–15 (6th Cir.1995). With respect to expressive association, the Supreme Court “has recognized a right to associate for the purpose of engaging in those activities protected by the First Amendment—speech, assembly, petition for the redress of grievances, and the exercise of religion.” Roberts, 468 U.S. at 618, 104 S.Ct. 3244. Concerning intimate association, the Supreme Court “has concluded that choices to enter into and maintain certain intimate human relationships must be secured against undue intrusion by the State because of the role of such relationships in safeguarding the individual freedom that is central to our constitutional scheme.” Id. at 617–18, 104 S.Ct. 3244.

The Supreme Court has explained that the right to intimate association “receives protection as a fundamental element of personal liberty.” Id. at 618, 104 S.Ct. 3244. The kinds of personal associations entitled to constitutional protection are characterized by “relative smallness, a high degree of selectivity in decisions to begin and maintain the affiliation, and seclusion from others in critical aspects of the relationship.” Id. at 620, 104 S.Ct. 3244. In Board of Directors of Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte, the Court emphasized that although the “precise boundaries” of the intimate association right were unclear, constitutional protection was not restricted to relationships among family members. 481 U.S. 537, 545, 107 S.Ct. 1940, 95 L.Ed.2d 474 (1987). Instead, the Constitution “protects” those relationships … that presuppose ‘deep attachments and commitments to the necessarily few other individuals with whom one shares not only a special community of thoughts, experiences, and beliefs but also distinctly personal aspects of *882 one’s life.’ ” Id. (quoting Roberts, 468 U.S. at 619–20, 104 S.Ct. 3244).

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Anderson v City of LaVergne

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