The legal right not only to same-sex marriage but also to interracial marriage – which goes back even further in American history – is now at risk with the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and its profound reversal of decades of basic rights, experts warn.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who is interracially married, said in remarks Friday that the decision “raises questions about other rights we thought were settled, such as the right to use contraceptives, the right to same-sex marriage, and the right to interracial marriage.”
The possibility of losing the right to marry another person was raised ominously when Senator Mike Brown (R-India) said in March that such a right should be left to the states (as is now the case for abortion). After a backlash, he retracted his statement, claiming that he misunderstood the question. Such a decision means that a legally married mixed-race couple in one state can be arrested while visiting another.
Friday’s Supreme Court decision compared Roe’s ruling to cases such as Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed the right to equality in marriage; Loving against Virginia, which protects interracial marriage; Griswold v. Connecticut, which established the right of couples to use contraceptives; and Lawrence v. Texas, which forbade states to ban same-sex sexual relations.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested Friday in a single, consensual opinion that the court should reconsider other rights protected under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Thomas wrote: “We must reconsider all the precedents of the court’s substantive legal proceedings, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Aubergeville.” “Because any substantive decision regarding legal process is ‘manifestly wrong’, it is our duty to ‘correct the error’ set forth in those precedents.”
Thomas avoided the Loving affair, which, if nullified like Roe’s, could threaten his interracial marriage. This does not mean that other judges will not refuse protection, despite any protests they may make. Some judges had previously claimed that they believed Roe v. Wade was a stable law.
The bottom line, “What we’re seeing today is that there’s very little that is sacred about privacy,” Michelle Goodwin, professor of constitutional law at the University of California, Irvine, told Insider.
Goodwin sees the ruling, and Thomas’ comments, as a whistle for the dog for states to take over.
“The Supreme Court does not have to engage in dismantling interracial marriage protections. By sending the signal with Roe and Judge Thomas to support that signal, it is now left to county officials,” she cautioned.
June 12 marked the 55th anniversary of the landmark Loving Resolution, which made interracial marriage legal throughout the United States. Logic” can be used to overturn Loving.
“To those who say Loving v. Virginia will never be dropped, be careful and vigil,” warned ACLU podcast host Kendall Sesemier. “The United States has a long history of criminalizing, censoring and controlling black and brown families and mixing of races.”
Based on Roe’s dropping ruling, it’s hard not to fear that other rights “will be subject to the same kind of judicial scrutiny and dismantling, like access to contraceptives, like same-sex marriage, like interracial marriage,” Goodwin warned, who was the guest at podcast.
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