Although a conservative leaning Supreme Court has stirred conversation on LGBTQ rights, experts say same sex marriage is unlikely to be overruled.
The verdict passed on Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. 644 in 2015, ruled that all states will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples who will be recognized under the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The historic verdict was passed by the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote. Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the judgment. Four Justices who were against the court decision were Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Clarence Thomas, and Justice Samuel Alito.
Among the four justices, Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito recently wrote a four-page letter criticizing the ruling. Written by two conservative justices, the letter said that people who favor traditional marriage are being sued, losing their employment, and are being punished for their traditional marriage speech. “By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests, the Court has created a problem that only it can fix,” Thomas, joined by Alito, wrote. “Until then, Obergefell will continue to have ‘ruinous consequences for religious liberty.’”
The statement of two judges came after judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump for the Supreme Court, replacing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg following her death on Sept. 18, 2020. Although Barrett has never explicitly stated that she is not in favor of same-sex marriage, her previous statement supports only opposite-sex marriage.
Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the 2015 case, called the remarks by Thomas and Alito “deeply disturbing and upsetting.”
A conservative-leaning American Supreme Court has stirred conversation about the possible overruling of the 2015 judgment, but experts claim marriage equality is unlikely to be repealed. "To go back on gay marriage now would cause such a political cataclysm that the court would be very reluctant to take on such an unpopular position," Paul Smith, a professor at Georgetown Law School told NBC news.