Washington, D.C. - Tomorrow the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Co-Chairs, Chris Pappas (NH-01), David Cicilline (RI-01), Angie Craig (MN-02), Sharice L. Davids (KS-03), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Mark Pocan (WI-02), and Mark Takano (CA-41) plan to introduce a resolution along with the support of 96 of their colleagues affirming the Supreme Court's rulings on same-sex marriages, following Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Alito's statement undermining the validity of the Supreme Court's previous rulings that cleared the way for marriage equality.
Specially, Justices Thomas and Alito issued a statement on October 5, 2020 attacking this precedent by stating that the ruling in 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." They continue to imply that this decision is one that could eventually be 'fixed.'
"The statement by Justices Thomas and Alito about marriage equality is an insult to the more than 500,000 loving same-sex couples that have finally been able to have their unions recognized under the law," said Pappas. "As the balance of the Court shifts, we must fight to ensure that our country does not go backward on fundamental equality. It is essential we affirm our commitment to the rights of all our citizens, regardless of who they love."
"Five years ago, the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. Today, with Justice Barrett joining the bench, this progress is under threat," said Cicilline. "We cannot allow our country to move backwards. I am proud to stand with my colleagues on this important issue and to continue fighting for full LGBTQ+ equality."
"This week, my wife Cheryl and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. We had to wait most of our adult lives for the right to marry and to have our family recognized legally in this country," said Craig. "It's on all of us to protect equal marriage rights and to continue fighting for justice and equality under the law for all LGBTQ people."
"No one should be discriminated against for who they are, who they love or how they identify. That's in line with the longstanding, deeply American principle that all people should be treated equally. The Justices' recent comments on Obergefell v. Hodges are a concerning challenge to a landmark decision that has allowed more than half a million same-sex couples to legally marry. During a time when the rights of LGBTQ Americans are increasingly under attack, it is crucial for us to stand up against this kind of rhetoric and fight to ensure everyone has the same protections under the law," said Davids.
"We refuse to let a right-wing Supreme Court take us backwards to a time when someone else's religious beliefs controlled what my family was allowed to do," said Pocan. "Marriage equality was a massive step forward for LGBTQ equality in Americawe should be expanding those liberties not retracting them. Our laws should not be hollowed out to protect the best interest of bigots and extremists. Marriage equality must remain the law of the land."
"In light of recent statements made by Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas suggesting the Supreme Court revisit the issue of marriage equality, it is absolutely pertinent that my colleagues and I introduce a resolution to protect this fundamental right for all. Millions of people across our country are currently living in fear that they won't be able to legally commit to their partner due to these hateful, conservative attacks. We have to prove to them, and to the rest of the world watching, that in the United States of America, we believe in equality and we believe love always wins," said Takano
Millions of LGBTQ Americans and allies are rightly concerned that Justice Thomas' and Alito's words send a signal to the states to challenge these rulings on the ground of religious liberty now that Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who has worked with a variety of groups opposing same-sex marriage, has been sworn in.
The resolution simply affirms that the Supreme Court rightfully ruled on this issue and has upheld the precedent on several occasions, that same-sex couples have both the right to marry and to enjoy the benefits and protections provided by the government to married couples. From Windsor v. United States to Obergefell v. Hodges and Pavan v. Smith, the Justices affirmed that depriving same-sex couples of these rights is unconstitutional and not in line with American values.