Gay marriage advocates push for post-calf protections – NBC Chicago

While the nation awaits a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding a Mississippi law calling for a 15-week pregnancy ban on abortion, LGBTQ advocates are pushing for same-sex marriage protections in states across the country.

Since the leak of a draft opinion hinting that the court might overturn abortion rights, concerns have grown whether judges could subsequently reverse other decisions that rely on the “right to privacy” the court outlined in the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide nearly 50 years ago.

The leaked opinion of Judge Samuel Alito, a member of the court’s conservative 6-3 majority, explicitly says the decision concerns abortion and no other rights.

But legal experts have speculated that similar logic could be used to reverse other decisions, including Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 case in which the court ruled the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

In a draft Supreme Court opinion on Roe v. Wade, Judge Samuel Alito argues that rights “must be deeply rooted in the history and tradition of the country” to be protected. “If that’s their approach, the right to contraception could also be seen as ‘not deeply rooted in our nation’s history and tradition,'” said Caroline Mala Corbin, a law professor at the University of Miami.

“We need states across this country to say, ‘We see you. You exist. You deserve respect. And you deserve protection because your relationship is no different from any other,'” said Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the historic case, who is now a Democratic candidate trying to become a legislator in the state of Ohio.

Before the Supreme Court overturned the ban and legalized same-sex marriage, 31 states had passed laws banning same-sex couples from marrying. The laws have not been in effect since courts declared them unconstitutional, but they remain on the books in most of those states.

For years they were considered defunct and attracted little attention, but the changing composition of the Supreme Court has led several states to remove them from their statutes and constitutions. Virginia and Nevada have repealed their defunct bans in 2020 and New Jersey enshrined marriage rights for same-sex couples in 2021.

“We should all be concerned about our other fundamental rights obtained through the courts over the past decade,” Utah State Senator Derek Kitchen, a Democrat and the state’s only LGBTQ legislator, said on the steps of the U.S. Congress. state house on Tuesday.

Kitchen and New Jersey City Councilman Don Guardian, a Republican, want more states to remove same-sex marriage from their laws and codify rights for LGBTQ couples to prepare for a worst-case scenario where the Supreme Court decides to undo the 2015 agreement. sex marriage decision.

“I would be very concerned about any state that doesn’t now pass the same kind of legislation before the courts rule (on abortion) so they can protect their married LGBTQ+ residents,” said Guardian, who is gay.

Though the New Jersey law passed with bipartisan support, similar steps to codify same-sex marriage rights could face tough battles in Republican-led legislatures that have resurfaced LGBTQ issues with renewed fervor. see.

Some have moved to restrict LGBTQ subjects from the school curriculum and regulate health care for transgender youth. At least a dozen, including Utah, have passed laws restricting participation in sports for transgender youth.

Kitchen compared state gay marriage bans to “trigger laws” that many Republican-led states have enacted to prepare for a scenario where Roe v. Wade is quashed and states can resume restricting abortions.

Kitchen has not spoken to the Republicans who lead the Utah legislature, but said he is optimistic that gay marriage in Utah has been embraced broadly enough that enshrining protections for LGBTQ couples will receive widespread support.

“Utah is a family-friendly state. We support families where we know the importance of providing stable units for children to grow up in,” he said.

Kitchen added: “We as a community have already decided that marriage equality is a value we care about. So yes, this is something that has a shot at passing in Utah.

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