They Will Come For Us Next

With the fall of Roe, marriage equality is threatened.

Photo by Victoria Pickering.

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the constitutional right of women to choose abortion. Roe, and Casey after it, established a constitutional right to privacy. With the fall of Roe, any laws, legislation, and rulings built on the basis of a right to privacy are in jeopardy, including marriage equality, LGBTQ rights and protections, and the privacy of what two consenting adults choose to do in the privacy of their own homes.

Roe stood for 50 years. Obergefell, only 8 years old, legalized marriage equality on the basis of the right to privacy. Lawrence, only 19 years old, struck down anti-sodomy laws on the basis of the right to privacy. If a 50-year precedent can be overturned by six conservative justices on a warpath to impose Handmaid’s Tale-style values on our nation, what makes anyone believe that these much younger rulings and rights are safe?

For those who would urge restraint from ringing the alarm bells, look to Justice Clarence Thomas’s concuring opinion:

“For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Thomas wrote. 

Make no mistake, they will come for us next and we all must stand up for the rights of our friends, families, chosen families, and community that are now so threatened.

Jim Sheppard is a resident of Downtown Pittsburgh. Jim served as a Commissioner on the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission which investigates instances of discrimination in the City of Pittsburgh and recommends necessary protections in our City Code to provide all people in Pittsburgh with equal opportunities. He has worked for Pittsburgh City Council, the Pittsburgh Mayor, and the Allegheny County Controller. For five years he was the President of the Steel City Stonewall Democrats. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (He / Him / His)