Is Gay Marriage in Danger Under a More Conservative Supreme Court?

By: GIANNA LULGLIANI

The LGBTQ+ community faces a very scary situation as their rights are once again at the possibility of being taken away from them. This time, their legal ability to marry is in jeopardy, following Amy Coney Barrett’s soon inevitable initiation into the Supreme Court. The balance of the Supreme Court will soon be shifted to the right along with her extremely conservative views, directly countering everything her liberal successor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, fought for in her impressive career in the Supreme Court. This has caused mass amounts of worry over the future of decisions regarding LGBTQ+ rights.

Amy Coney Barrett has proven herself to be an opponent of the gay community throughout her strong history of discriminatory actions and beliefs regarding their rights. Her mindset that the Constitution must be followed in the most literal word for word sense suggests that she is closed off to anything that might not be included in the 200+ year old document, including gay marriage. She has also expressed her opinion on the matter, saying how marriage is supposed to be a commitment between a man and a woman. “President Trump has stated that he would “strongly consider” appointing justices who would repeal Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark marriage equality decision. With Barrett, Trump has likely found that justice.” What plausible reason could possibly justify taking away such a large portion of the population’s ability to legally get married? 

Letting people love who they love and not basing their rights to marry off of whether that person is of the same sex as them should not be a political issue. It should not even be an issue that is up for debate at all. Gay marriage was only just legalized in the United States five years ago in 2015. The fact that this right could be threatened is incomprehensible and appalling. In the twenty-first century, in the most progressive and accepting modern era so far, we should not be moving backwards. A man marrying another man or a woman marrying another woman causes no harm to anyone at all and should be just as acceptable and protected under law as a heterosexual couple being married.

The Trump administration in general has already rolled back on several LGBTQ+ related laws and codes. Trump has singlehandedly stripped back laws that protect transgender people from discrimnation in the healthcare industry, as well as preventing them from being involved in the US military. Trump’s reelection could be considerably dangerous for the future of LGBTQ+ rights, with him and Vice President Mike Pence actively attacking laws that protect queer people. “If elected president, former Vice President Joe Biden has promised to immediately reverse the military ban and reissue an Obama-era guideline allowing trans students to use the correct bathroom… However, a second Trump term would mean more anti-LGBTQ federal judges appointed, a Supreme Court justice (maybe even two), and an escalation in the legal arguments against trans rights, legal advocates say.” That is why this upcoming election is so important; it is not just about whether a democrat or republican is elected, it is about if human rights will be taken away or protected.

Although gay marriage is unlikely to be entirely abolished, it still is in danger of being altered and fought against. Ruth Bader Ginsburg described this as something called “skim milk marriage,” where “you have the ability to marry but your rights and benefits and obligations within that marriage don’t look the same.” This would obviously still be completely unacceptable, which is why we must fight hard as a country to protect LGBTQ+ rights and use our political voices to vote in order to prevent this from happening.

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