The nation’s highest court rejected an appeal by Kim Davis, a former county clerk in Kentucky, who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on her religious beliefs. Davis even spent some time in jail.
While they agreed with the decision not to accept the appeal, Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito said the 2015 ruling that made same-sex marriages legal amounted to a “cavalier treatment of religion.”
That has members of the LGBTQIA community worried.
“If the right was taken away, it would be a huge step backward for the equal rights and civil rights of gay and lesbian persons in our community,” said Wilmington Attorney Virginia Hager, who is the board chair of the Frank Harr Foundation.
The Frank Harr Foundation is a Wilmington based organization serving the LGBTQIA community while educating the community at large on LGBTQIA issues and specifics.
“There are great concerns about these comments by Justices Alito and Thomas that raise the specter that the Supreme Court could go backward on this issue. That’s causing a lot of worry amongst the LGBTQ community.”
It’s enough worry that, after reading the decision, Caroline Morin-Gage started texting her wife asking about possible issues. “What about our house?” said Morin-Gage. “What about our car loan, what about our will, what about our hospital visitation rights? One thing that I would tell anyone who is LGBTQ…if you’re in a couple and legally married, you need to make sure you have legal documents that protect you even if somehow your marriage is invalidated on a national scale. For me, it’s making sure if any protections are available for me and my wife, I take advantage of them.”
Hager doesn’t believe anything would be overturned quickly by the court, and without a fight from LGBTQ organizations.
“It would be a long time in coming and the organizations, such as Human Rights Campaign and Lambda legal, who worked very hard to protect the rights and expand the rights of the LGBT community, will be working very hard in the future to continue to do that. I am confident.”
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