“It scares the shit out of me”: man behind gay marriage law fears it will be overturned after Roe v Wade

The man whose US Supreme Court historical case led to the legalization of gay marriage in America said the court’s majority opinion on Roe v Wade “scares the hell out of me” as fears grow that LGBT + rights can be subsequently overturned.

Jim Obergefell released a statement on Tuesday warning that basic human rights are now “under siege” following Monday night’s escape of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion bomb threatening to nullify 50 years of abortion rights in one fell swoop. .

“The US Supreme Court should not overturn decades of established laws and deny the most basic human health rights to pregnant people to make their own decisions about their lives and bodies,” he said.

“The sad part is … five or six people will determine the law of the country and go against the vast majority of Americans who overwhelmingly support a person’s right to make their own health decisions and a couple’s right to marry. .

“This is a sad day, but it’s not over. We have fought the good fight for too long to be denied our rights now ”.

Mr. Obergefell found himself at the center of the LGBT + community’s struggle to legalize same-sex marriage in 2013 when he married his longtime partner John Arthur.

The couple, who lived in Ohio, where same-sex marriage was illegal, had to fly to Maryland in order to get married.

They got married inside a medical plane on the airport runway as Mr. Arthur was seriously ill with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease of the nervous system.

Just three months and 11 days later, Mr. Arthur passed away and the state of Ohio refused to list his 22-year partner as a legal spouse on his death certificate due to same-sex marriage ban in the state. .

A two-year legal battle ensued, which went all the way to the Supreme Court.

In 2015, the court handed down its historic ruling on Obergefell v Hodges, legalizing same-sex marriage across the country and marking the biggest LGBT + rights breakthrough in American history.

Now, LGBT + rights activists fear this law could be attacked even after the Supreme Court vote to dismantle abortion rights across the country.

Mr. Obergefell said CNN that while the withdrawal of the right to abortion marks “a dark day for women in our nation”, she fears it also means that “marriage equality is next” to be potentially eliminated.

“It scares the shit out of me,” he said.

Mr. Obergefell said that if the protections afforded by the 14th Amendment on the Right to Privacy are under attack, it could extend beyond reproductive rights and access to abortion.

“Many of the rights we enjoy, particularly the LGBTQ + community, are based on rights not enumerated under the 14th Amendment: the right to privacy,” he said.

“If the Constitution does not specifically outline, in writing, that right to privacy, then all those rights that have been affirmed for us and that are based on the right to privacy under the 14th Amendment are at risk.”

LGBT + rights groups and Democratic lawmakers have also raised concerns that, by overturning Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court is targeting the constitutional rights to privacy on which many other laws are based.

The team member, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tweeted that the court is also “coming for” gay marriage and civil rights.

“As we warned, SCOTUS doesn’t just come for abortion – they come for Roe’s right to privacy, which includes gay marriage + civil rights,” he tweeted.

“Manchin is blocking the coding of the eggs by Congress. House has apparently forgotten about Clarence Thomas. These 2 points must change ”.

In the leaked Supreme Court opinion on access to abortion, Judge Alito writes that the right to abortion is not “deeply rooted in the history and tradition of this nation” and was “completely unknown in American law … until to the latter part of the 20th century “- something that also applies to LGBT + rights that were established in the country even after the right to abortion.

However, he writes that the same reasoning would not apply to other sentences on “intimate sexual relations, contraception and marriage” because the right to abortion is “fundamentally different” in that it “destroys” life.

Monday evening, Politic released a majority draft opinion from the US Supreme Court that revealed that the nation’s highest court had decided to overturn the historic Roe v Wade ruling that grants Americans the constitutional right to abortion.

Written by Judge Samuel Alito, he revealed that he and four other Conservative judges – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – had voted to overturn the ruling.

Liberal judges Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan disagreed while it is unclear how Chief Judge John Roberts intended to vote.

In the opinion, the majority said that the sentence had been wrongly decided in the past and that decisions on access to abortion should be decided by politicians, not by the courts.

“We believe Roe and Casey should be quashed,” writes Judge Alito in the opinion of the majority.

“It is time to listen to the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people”.

The court drafted the opinion after agreeing to look into a case over a Mississippi law criminalizing abortions after 15 weeks.

The judges listened to oral discussions on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Heath Organization in December, the first major challenge to abortion rights in the face of the new conservative majority.

Never in the history of the Supreme Court has a draft opinion leaked and the court, which confirmed the authenticity of the draft on Tuesday, promised to investigate how it happened.

Protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in response to the majority opinion


The opinion is a draft and it is possible that the votes will change before its publication, scheduled for the end of June.

However, if released as is, it will backtrack on abortion rights and access to reproductive health for millions of women across America and leave many with no choice but to carry an unwanted pregnancy or seek health options. potentially dangerous illegal.

The court’s decision will attribute the decision to individual states to determine whether abortions are legal or not, at a time when republican-led states have already taken steps to restrict or ban access to abortion altogether in recent months.

About half of all states in the United States are expected to ban abortion altogether as soon as Roe is overturned, including 13 states with so-called “trigger” bans that will take effect immediately when the sentence is lifted.

Last year, Texas led the way by introducing the most extreme abortion law in the United States and effectively reducing Roe v Wade.

The “Texas Heartbeat Act” bans abortions since a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually after as little as six weeks, at a time before many women know they are pregnant.

Texas law makes no exceptions for women who are victims of rape or incest and gives individuals the right to sue anyone who aborts or helps someone have an abortion.

While the law severely limited access, a woman’s legal right to have an abortion in America was protected by Roe v Wade.

About two dozen other states, including Alabama and Oklahoma, have laws ready to effectively ban abortion if Roe v Wade is overturned.

In 1973, the historic Roe v Wade ruling recognized a woman’s constitutional right to choose to have an abortion across America for the first time and effectively made it nationally legal.

Years later, the Planned Parenthood v Casey ruling reaffirmed that ruling.

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