I’ve been around long enough in politics and corporate America to recognize overt signs of power grabs and people who would stampede over their mothers to get what they want. Oftentimes, it’s done abruptly, while in other instances, it’s done stealthily and slowly, chip, chip, chipping away until they finally get what they want — regardless of who has to pay the price.
When I worked on the Hill, the annual visit to congressional offices by pro-life forces on January 22, which was the anniversary of the passage of Roe v. Wade, was always a day to be dreaded if you were a congressional staffer. They were among the most stubborn, and paradoxically rudest people who came to lobby.
I remember one time, a pro-life woman dropped the file folders all over the reception area in our office, and I leaned over to help her pick them up. Instead of saying thank you, she seethed, “If you are pro-choice, leave my papers alone.” We weren’t — and aren’t — dealing with rational people.
For nearly 50 years, the pro-life movement has been laser-focused on overturning Roe v. Wade, so much so that many held their noses to support Donald Trump, because he had promised them Supreme Court justice nominations, as well as lower court judges.
It was the pro-life and conservative dream to obtain a lop-sided majority at the Supreme Court. Despite the fact that Democratic presidents have been in power 17 out of the last 29 years, that wish came true with the confirmation of right-wing darling Amy Coney Barrett, who was rushed through after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and pushed the number of conservative justices to the magic number of six.
The court, now, is known as the Roberts Court, since he is chief justice, and he has been twisting himself in knots to try and create a sense of balance about his court, by voting with the liberals on occasion. Roberts is fearful that his branded court will become one of the most divisive and negatively consequential.
Take the court’s ruling on the horiffic Texas abortion law last month: despite Roberts’ vote against it, the measure was upheld. The law basically makes abortion illegal and those who try to seek one at the risk of getting arrested by citizen vigilantes. This, as CNN reported that 70% of Americans disagree with the idea of allowing private citizens to bring lawsuits against abortion providers.
The court is definitely on its way to overturning Roe v. Wade, a fantasy that will come true due to the 18thcentury thinking of justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Coney Barrett. It’s only a matter of time. They’ve been outspoken through their careers about the illegality of Roe v. Wade, except of course when they testified at their Senate confirmation hearings, and lied through their teeth that they wouldn’t cast votes dictated by their personal convictions.
They are die-hard anti-abortion activists – yes, activists not judges. And, if you want the unvarnished and unmitigated truth, and they are also rigidly opposed to gay marriage; therefore, you can bet your last dollar that they will now start to chip away at marriage equality. It’s virtually a guarantee, and they’ve already hinted that they will.
When the court refused to hear a case brought by that nutty Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis last October, who wouldn’t abide by the law and issue marriage licenses, Justices Alito and Thomas, in their dissent, went ballisic on the decision that secured marriage equality nationally.
Thomas, writing for himself and Alito, said that the decision “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.” And that the Davis case “…may have been one of the first victims of this court’s cavalier treatment of religion in its Obergefell decision.”
And their final dart: “…Obergefell will continue to have ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”
We wrote previously about Jonathan Mitchell, the architect of that slimy Texas abortion law. My colleague, Trudy Ring penned that Mitchell “…has invited the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn or at least severely undermine key LGBTQ+ rights decisions — the ones that struck down sodomy bans and established marriage equality.”
Mitchell filed what is called an amicus brief, or a friend of the court, in support of the Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy except “in medical emergencies or for severe fetal abnormality.” As Ring wrote, “Two federal courts have blocked the law, but the state is appealing to the Supreme Court, which just today announced the date for the hearing. It is widely seen as the case that could overturn Roe.”
In the brief, Mitchell calls for Roe to be overturned, and said that a decision to overturn could open the door for other “lawless” rights and protections to be reversed, including the right to have gay sex and the right to same-sex marriage.
According to a story in The Guardian, “While the majority of the justices stressed that they had not yet ruled on the constitutionality of the Texas law itself, the ruling showed that the majority was receptive to Mitchell’s legal strategy.”
You can be sure that Thomas and Alito are chomping at the bit to outlaw gay sex, and do away with gay marriage, and they will do it by chip, chip, chipping away. They now have three other comrades on their side, who are equally opposed to gay sex, and gay marriage, because it goes against their fervent religious beliefs.
I had a conversation with a friend of mine about the ominous signs, particularly for gay marriage, and he was nonchalant about the doom that may – and is most likely – to lie ahead. “They can’t do away with gay marriage, since so many are married. How do you undo that?”
Pretty easily, it turns out. There should be no denying that a major attempt on trampling our rights is being mounted. The Texas law was a harbinger that the court’s conservative members have no issue overturning precedent if it goes against their vaunted Christian beliefs. It almost seems like a forgone conclusion that they will uphold the equally destructive Mississippi abortion law, which at 15 weeks is “less” severe than the Texas law, So why wouldn’t they support the “watered down” law?
We will indeed see Roe v. Wade come under its most ruthless assault.
And, do you think that these Justices, and all those who lobbied for them, and supported them and voted for them will just stop at Roe? Think again. They are on a mission to do away with all of the progress made for women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights over the last five decades. Thomas and Alito said out loud what the others are thinking: Being gay, being married, and being equal is an affront to zealous religious doctrine. It goes against the grain. You cannot be gay, and be Christian, in their eyes.
Sometimes it’s as if our community takes things for granted, particularly the younger generation. They aren’t aware of all the fighting and hard work it took to get our community where it is today. They see an administration that strongly supports them; yet, they seem blissfully unaware of the stealthily and silent assault coming our way by a Supreme Court cloaked in black and in secrecy.
If the court has the arrogance to actually strip away LGBTQ+ rights and marriages, it will start a fierce war. Corporate America has rallied strongly in support of gay marriage. So has the military. Most of society has moved beyond whether or not gay marriage is right or wrong. It’s more of a fact than a law.
But the fact is that there are evil forces out there who want to do away with our right to marry, including five very powerful people. The Texas abortion ruling has invigorated the religious right. And so long as the court upholds laws like it, and inevitably Mississippi’s, we should be prepared to watch them dismantle gay marriage.
Can you imagine anti-gay marriage and anti-gay sex vigilantes turning us in for cash rewards, similar to abortion? Just think about that for a moment, because the way the court is ruling these days, that’s not out of the realm of possibilities.