Obergefell is concerned about marriage equality being overturned

Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case that allowed for marriage equality across the USA, has shared his concern that the law might be overturned in the wake of the Roe vs Wade decision.

For almost 50 years abortion medical services have legal across the USA because of the Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision that was handed down in 1973. Last week the court overturned the decision which made abortion immediately legal in almost half of the states of the USA.

In his opinion on the decision Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that he believed the court should also revisit some other landmark decisions including the rulings which stops states from making homosexual acts illegal, and the 2015 decision Obergefell vs Hodges – which made same-sex marriage legal across the nation.

Speaking to NPR’s All Things Considered program Obergefell said the overturn of Roe vs Wade was a dark day for rights in America.

“To have the highest court in the land for the first time ever take back a right that it had previously affirmed and to know that women in our nation can now no longer control decisions about their own body because of government overreach, government intrusion.

“And then to read that concurring opinion by Clarence Thomas just made me even more concerned about the future of civil rights in our nation and especially for the LGBTQ+ community, given the cases that he mentioned, in addition to the continued attacks on women’s rights.” Obergefell said.

Obergefell said that while he was relieved that the recent decision was worded in a way that made it clear it was specifically about abortion, and not other rights. He still held concerns about what the Supreme Court’s next move might be.

While public support for marriage equality in the USA is higher now than when the decision was handed down in 2015, Obergefell said he did not find the high level of public support reassuring.

“I wish I could say it did. However, public opinion is on the side of women having the right to an abortion, women having the right to control the decisions made about their body. And yet that certainly did not sway this court.

“This court is determined to take our nation backward. And now that one right has been lost, other rights are at risk. And this court will continue to drag us down an extreme right-wing path that will take our nation backwards. And that is wrong. This court is supposed to stand for equal justice under law. This court is supposed to stand for affirming or expanding rights, not taking them away.” Obergefell said.

Obergefell said it was important that members of the LGBTIQA+ communities contacted their elected representatives and let them know that they were concerned about the potential for other rights to be removed via the court’s decisions.

OIP Staff

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