Obergefell Speaks Out Against Restricting Same-Sex Marriage: “Vote like our lives depend on it this year”

Obergefell Speaks Out Against Restricting Same-Sex Marriage: "Vote like our lives depend on it this year"
Image: Jim Obergefell, by Elvert Barnes – https://www.flickr.com/photos/perspective/18997214650/, CC BY-SA 2.0

Jim Obergefell, the defendant in the landmark case that made same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States, has an urgent plea for the LGBTQ community and its allies: “Vote like our lives depend on it this year.” Between two Supreme Court justices insinuating that marriage equality should be overturned, Trump’s horrific record when it comes to LGBTQ rights, and the likely confirmation of another right-wing anti-LGBTQ Justice, his warning is entirely justified. Read on for the full story. 

Obergefell Speaks Out Against Restricting Same-Sex Marriage: “Vote like our lives depend on it this year”

Jim Obergefell recently spoke out about the Supreme Court Justices slammed the very decision that gave him the right to marry. If you recall, buried within the long statement regarding the court’s decision not to hear Kim Davis‘ case, the two conservative judges insinuated that marriage equality should be on the chopping block. With right-wing religious fanatic Amy Coney Barret’s likely confirmation to replace LGBTQ champion Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the threat to same-sex marriage rights is scarier than ever. 

Obergefell spoke with reporters and LGBTQ advocates after the statement made headlines and called the judges’ words “deeply troubling, not only for our country, but for the LGBTQ community specifically and for me personally.” He went on to say: 

“Marriage is a vital, important part of life, and it is something that must not be restricted based on who you are or whom you love. It was the honor of my life to be able to marry my late husband, John. And it is unthinkable that Alito, Thomas and others on the Supreme Court but want to take away that right and the dignity that comes along with it.”

He continued, saying:

Reed: Time To Unite As Americans
Reed: Time To Unite As Americans

“The comments this morning from Justices Alito and Thomas are deeply disturbing and upsetting. They signal that they are still willing to roll back progress to report rights away from LGBTQ+ people, and that, if given the chance, it would work to overturn the right to marriage that I and so many activists and advocates have fought for.”

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Obergefell says Amy Coney Barrett would bring the country closer to stripping away LGBTQ rights

When talking about the pending confirmation of Barrett, Obergefell said it would bring the US “closer to a reality in which LGBTQ+ rights could be stripped away by an unbalanced Supreme Court.” After all, Barrett has already condemned the Obergefell decision, so there’s no reason to think that she wouldn’t overturn it if given the chance. 

Obergefell then urged the community and allies to  “vote like our lives depend on it this year.” As noted earlier, considering the long list of atrocities committed by Trump and his alt-right administration, LGBTQIA lives very well may depend on it. 

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David also spoke out against Barrett, pointing out her ties to the right-wing legal group, Alliance Defending Freedom. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels the ADF a hate group for their atrocious views on same-sex marriage, transgender issues, and other LGBTQ rights. 

David also noted Barrett’s defense of the justices who voted against Obergefell, explaining that her past comments indicate that she would rule against LGBTQ people and other marginalized citizens, according to Metro Weekly. David said a conservative majority could completely water down same-sex marriage rights, mentioning what RBG called “skim milk marriage,”, adding, 

“How would you feel if you were not allowed to visit your husband in a hospital because the hospital does not recognize him as your spouse? And what if those same officials allowed family members, who had not spoken to your spouse in years, to make life-or-death decisions on his behalf? This is what ‘skim milk’ marriage could mean for LGBTQ people. We have been here before, and we are not going back.”

Meanwhile, Kim Davis’ right-wing lawyers rejoiced in Thomas and Alito’s words, saying 

“Even though the High Court declined to take up qualified immunity, Justices Thomas and Alito are inviting future challenges regarding Obergefell and to fix the mess the Court created.”

Lambda Legal warns of attack on LGBTQ rights

Lambda Legal, one of the most prominent law firms for the LGBTQ community, warned that a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court would put same-sex marriage rights under attack. In a statement, the firm’s CEO said, 

“The nightmare of a hostile Supreme Court majority is already here.The confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett haven’t even started yet and Justices Thomas and Alito are already creating a laundry list of cases they want to overturn. And unsurprisingly, marriage equality is first on the chopping block. Confirming Judge Barrett would be the final puzzle piece they need in order to make it happen.”

He added that overturning marriage equality would only be the beginning, that “none of the hard-fought rights that we have won in the courts are safe.”

What are your thoughts on Obergefell speaking out for same-sex marriage equality after Thomas and Alito slammed it? How about his plea to vote like your life depends on it? Share below