Jim Obergefell, the main plaintiff in the 2015 Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, said Sunday he was appalled with the nation’s highest court after its decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade last week.
“My immediate reaction was anger and also disgust that the highest court in our land, the court that is supposed to protect equal justice under law, the court that is supposed to interpret the Constitution to support every person in this country, that a justice on that court would put in writing a clarion call to opponents of marriage equality and LGBTQ+ equality, not to mention the right to contraception in that concurring decision?” Obergefell told MSNBC’s Symone Sanders on Sunday. “That is nothing more than a call for people who are opposed to those, opposed to us.”
“It is appalling that a Supreme Court justice would do that. It is appalling that a Supreme Court would take away a right that people in America, that women in America, have enjoyed and come to rely on for almost 50 years,” Obergefell, who is running for the Ohio House of Representatives as a Democrat, added.
Civil rights advocates have pointed to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, which protected abortion rights nationwide. In his opinion, Thomas argued the court should also reconsider cases like Obergefell v. Hodges, as well as rulings that legalized same-sex sexual activity (Lawrence v. Texas) and granted Americans access to contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut). Doing so, he said, would “correct the error” the court established with those precedents.
Thomas was the lone justice to sign his opinion.
Thomas also noted that he agreed with Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion, which said the decision “should not be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” But many civil rights advocates said they fear the heavily conservative court could take aim at other liberties.
The liberal members of the court echoed those fears in their dissenting opinion. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan stated that “no one should be confident that this majority is done with its work.”