Five years ago, a major victory for LGBTQ equality made the history books when a narrow in-favor-ruling in the Supreme Court legalized Marriage Equality, i.e., gay marriage. The celebrations across America were massive as the ruling was handed down on June 26th, coinciding with New York City Gay Pride weekend and pride celebrations throughout the country. Over 300,000 gay couples are now married thanks to the passing of gay marriage, which was signed into law by then-president Barack Obama.
Liberal Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Anthony Kennedy were among the champions for the cause. Now, with Ginsburg’s recent death, Anthony’s retirement from the court, and Mitch McConnell’s unscrupulous efforts to pack federal courts with conservative judges.
Ginsburg has only been dead roughly two weeks, but already with her passing comes the circling of sharks smelling blood in the water, hinting at repealing one of the beloved Ginsburgs most momentous Supreme Court: Marriage Equality. Two of the main sharks in question are Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito, who both, along with late Justice Antonin Scalia, were most adamant against gay marriage and offered scathing dissents to support their sentiments.
Then, this Monday, with all the country is going through – ravaged by sickness, death, protests, and social unrest, Thomas and Alito decided to turn their attention once again toward gay marriage. Without provocation, they chose to reignite their discontent with the 2015 Supreme Court decision that granted gays full rights of matrimony.
As reported by CNN,
Justices Thomas and Alito lashed out on Monday at the religious liberty implications of the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that cleared the way for same-sex marriage nationwide. Thomas wrote that the decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, “enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots, making their religious liberty concerns that much easier to dismiss.”
Thomas made his opinion known on the first day of the court’s new term, and his antiquated attack on gay marriage as his first order of business calls into question, has he been sitting back seething in anger for the past five years as gay people exercising their constitutional right to marry? The constitution and religion (of course) are what most of the conservative arguments against marriage equality are based upon.
According to CNN’s reporting on Thomas and Alito unwavering position on gay marriage:
“They believe the court should have left the decision to the political arena and have long said that it will infringe upon the rights of those who have religious objections to same-sex marriage.”
Recent rulings in favor of “religious freedom” has given an alarming greenlight discrimination in key cases where the courts have allowed the business to deny services to same-sex couples if their relationship conflicts with their religious beliefs. On the one hand, it may seem trivial when it’s just the high-profile battle over whether or not a homophobic baker will make a cake for a gay couple; however, on the other hand, it’s opened the flood gates. Now, adoption agencies deny gay parents the right to adopt, claiming it a right of “religious freedom.”
It is an oxymoron for a country to claim its founding on religious freedom, but then allow its people to use their personal religious views to impede upon the lives of others. The idea of “freedom of religion” grants Americans the right to worship in any religion they wish, without persecution. However, it is a distortion to surmise that “religious freedom” means you get to use your religion to deny someone goods, products, and services because you disapprove of their lifestyle.
In his lash-out against gay marriage, Thomas went on to invoke the name of Kim Davis, the former county clerk in Rowan, Kentucky, who defied federal law in 2015 by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She refused, because homosexuality went against her religion. Judge Thomas painted Davis as a victim of liberals and those against Christianity.
Davis was ultimately jailed for defying the law and fired from her position as county clerk. She maintains that she was abiding by “God’s word,” but that’s peculiar because “God’s word” also states that adultery and fornication are egregious sins. At the time of the incident, Davis was on husband number 3 and, and at some point, she had conceived a child with a man while still legally married to another. She is now on husband number 4.
With pending legal issues surrounding her defiance, earlier this week Davis learned that he status of her appeal to the high court: They refused to hear the case.
As CNN reports:
“Thomas called Davis “one of the first victims” of the court’s “cavalier treatment of religion” in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision but warned, “she will not be the last.” He said that her case was not properly presented before the court, but he urged his colleagues to revisit the religious liberty implications of the landmark opinion down the road.”
Here we are 5 years later, and it seems Thomas and Alito are gearing up to dismantle progress and to argue that gay marriage passed unconstitutionally. Many LGBTQ leaders fear that a new conservative SCOTUS judge could shift the power balance and allow Thomas and Alito to end gay marriage.
In his dissent Thomas sites that gay marriage impedes upon the rights of those who do not believe God accepts marriage between same-sex couples. Thomas should be reminded that as a black man with a white wife, decades ago, his marriage would also have been considered illegal in America under the guise of being un-Godly and unacceptable.
Seriously, you would think he’d know better.
Read more at CNN