The Christian Post (a “non-denominational” conservative evangelical publication) has an article up titled: “Respect for Marriage Act: Will it lead to the Supreme Court striking down gay marriage?”
A conservative law firm has speculated that if the so-called Respect for Marriage Act is signed into law by President Joe Biden, it could actually lead to the United States Supreme Court overturning its earlier ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide.
In a statement released Monday, the Liberty Counsel commented on Congress’ recently passed bill legalizing same-sex marriage, thus codifying the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.
Liberty Counsel argued that the bill’s passage “can actually create the perfect scenario to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 5-4 opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges regarding same-sex marriage.”
The conservative law firm noted that thanks to changes in the roster of the Supreme Court, the nation’s highest court is more conservative than it was in 2015.
Additionally, the group cited the 2013 case of United States v. Windsor, which ruled in part that, in general, “the states, not the federal government, have the right to regulate marriage.”
Lastly, Liberty Counsel noted that one objection to overturning Obergefell is the issue of same-sex couples who had gotten marriage licenses, and what might happen to those licenses. However, noted the group, the bill would actually secure the fate of marriage licenses.
“As a result of RFMA, when Obergefell is overturned, those who obtained licenses will be ‘grandfathered’ in and the licenses will remain valid,” explained the group.
This thinking pre-supposes that a majority of SCOTUS justices would have been at all concerned about, prior to this week’s signing of the Respect for Marriage Act, existing LGBT marriage licenses when deciding whether to overturn precedents establishing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
I seriously doubt this possibility would have given pause to any of the right-wing justices, who are likely to overturn Obergefell in any case. With at least two of the justices — Clarence Thomas and Samual Alito — being so angry and cruel that the ability to essentially negate existing same-sex marriages would have been seen as a feature and not a bug. Amy Coney Barrett might not be as angry as Alito and Thomas, but she does come from a religious cult that is so right-wing that she is likely to dogmatically see ending same-sex marriage as her religious duty, and therefore above any considerations about fairness and equality.
I don’t think we can count on Kavanaugh and Gorsuch to be anything other than the FedSoc extremists they are.
My guess is that the overturning of the constitutional right to same-sex marriage is still, and always has been, a foregone conclusion with this court. The right-wing noise machine will try to paint the Respect for Marriage law just signed by President Biden as a necessary precursor to the overturning of Obergefell. Nonsense.
If anything, the overturning of Obergefell will be the proof we need that the Respect for Marriage Act was a masterful bit of legislating by the Democrats (and a tiny handful of Republicans) on Capitol Hill.
On another topic, I am old enough to remember when, as a journalist in Boston, I used to sit in the Democrat-controlled Massachusetts state Legislature and listed to members of both parties in both houses debate that state’s gay rights bill.
Even many Democrats would pile-on with the most anti-gay right-wing arguments about pedophilia, bestiality and the like. It was awful to witness and depressing to think that even many so-called progressives were so filled with anti-gay hatred.
Even among those Democrats who supported us, there was a reticence to talk about these issues in public. They might support us when some tough votes were tallied, but don’t expect them to advocate in public on these issues.
Compare that with this week (see pic below) when you had the President, Vice-President (and their spouses), along with the leaders of the House and Senate (both Democrats), along with some openly gay elected and appointed officials and even a smattering of Republicans, on-hand with big wide smiles of the official signing ceremony of the Respect for Marriage Act.
We have come a very long way. And that, in itself, is reason to celebrate.