In October 2020, just over five years after same sex marriage was made a right, two justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, wrote a lengthy discourse in defense of Kim Davis, a Kentucky clerk who refused two gay marriage licenses. Both Justices have openly opposed Obergefell v. Hodges, stating that it disrupts the religious liberty of the United States and are urging President Trump to overturn the decision.
With the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett on Oct. 27, there are now three Justices with an anti-LGBTQ+ stance, leaving many LGBTQ+ individuals in fear of losing their rights to marry and rightfully so.
Coney Barrett has been rather outspoken about her views on LGBTQ+ individuals. Barrett, who is an outspoken Catholic, signed a letter in 2015 addressed to Catholic Bishops that detailed her beliefs including a statement, “marriage and family founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman.”
In 2016, Barrett misgendered transgender individuals during her Hesburgh lecture, stating that transgender women were “physiological males.” In that same lecture, Barrett defended the dissenting justices on Obergefell v. Hodges, which gave equal rights of marriage to LGBTQ+ individuals.
During her confirmation hearing, Barrett was called out for using the term sexual preference by Sen. Mazie Hirono. Hirono stated, “Even though you didn't give a direct answer I think your response did speak volumes, Not once, but twice, you used the term sexual preference to describe those in the LGBTQ community. And let me make clear, sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term."
The term “sexual preference” suggests that being gay or lesbian is a choice and can be fixed or cured through the means of conversion therapy. Research has shown that more than 700,000 LGBTQ+ individuals have endured conversion therapy, a practice that is not condoned by any medical officials and has shown no evidence of working.
All of the information that Barrett has presented shows that she is against the LGBTQ+ community. There is no doubt about it and that is very scary for its members. With three Justices against us and with the upcoming election, LGBTQ+ individuals are scared of losing their rights just five years after a monumental victory.
With Barrett being confirmed, there could be even more pushback from the Justices to have Obergefell v. Hodges overturned. The election of Joe Biden may stop this, but the status of the court stands, regardless of who’s president.
Many LGBTQ+ individuals are scared, myself included. Her appointment could mean the loss of our right to marry, the inability for same-sex couples to adopt, and the loss of the rights that protect LGBT individuals from discrimination.
We can only hope that she will not rule based on her beliefs and loyalty to the GOP, but rather on legal precedent and the understanding that all humans, no matter who they love, deserve equal rights.
A lot of things are uncertain right now but no matter how Barrett decides to rule on cases in the future, nothing can take away the love we have for one another and our ability to rise to occasions and fight for ourselves, together.
Kelsey Boeing is a senior studying photojournalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Let Kelsey know by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.