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Will LGBT+ Rights Be Affected if Roe v. Wade Is Overturned?

by Kaine Spitak


Note: This piece was written before the news that Roe v. Wade had been overturned on Friday, June 24, 2022.


Introduction / Personal Background


After the news of the leaked Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey came out, I saw a plethora of false claims about the nature of the decision and what effects it could have on law and policy outside of the context of abortion. In particular, I saw many pundits speculate that this monumental expansion of human rights protections for the unborn is a threat to the civil rights of other groups — specifically LGBT people — which have been under fire by legislatures in various states.


These claims worried me greatly as someone who is both a member of the LGBT community and passionately pro-life. Further, I am anti-abortion for some of the very same reasons that I have been a long-time advocate for LGBT rights: I believe that all human beings deserve equality and that marginalized communities should not be exploited and harmed for profit. A free society does not come from state-sanctioned violence against marginalized persons, born or unborn.


Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer with the team at Rehumanize International; though they don’t take particular stances on LGBT rights (outside of all human beings’ right to live free from violence, regardless of identity), I am grateful that they are a pro-life organization that welcomes people from all backgrounds to stand for human rights, including LGBT-identified people like myself. You may have even seen me at a recent rally or on social media with my “Queer, Atheist, Pro-Life” sign; I think it is important to represent the diversity that exists within this movement so that we can build the broad coalition necessary to build a genuine culture of life. I am also a law student and the president of my university’s LGBT Law Society. Once the leak came out, I decided that I wanted to take my legal training and experience I have gained to read the leaked opinion and determine, truthfully, what the language surrounding overturning Roe and Casey may mean for the future of LGBT rights and protections.


Though I had some concerns about the fate of LGBT rights due to the initial backlash after the draft opinion was leaked, these fears were assuaged when I actually read the document for myself. I now believe that this is just another example of the abortion industrial complex targeting and fearmongering marginalized populations in order to advance their profit-driven agenda. Claims that the draft opinion will threaten LGBT rights are entirely unfounded and blatantly untrue.


Dismantling the systemic oppression of abortion must also include deconstructing the 50+ years of pervasive misinformation developed by the abortion industry to target the most vulnerable among us.


This article is, to the best of my ability, an objective interpretation of the leaked Dobbs opinion, a briefing of Justice Alito’s philosophy of interpreting questions of constitutional law, a brief overview of the most commonly-referenced landmark LGBT rights cases, and a criticism of legal professionals, news outlets, and the abortion industrial complex’s attempt at co-opting valid human rights movements to further exploit, intimidate, and silence marginalized communities.



Actual Text of the Dobbs Decision Distinguishing Roe and Casey from other rights, specifically Obergefell and Lawrence


The leaked opinion is a lengthy 67 pages; it thoroughly and meticulously examines the history of abortion, the flawed legal reasoning behind Roe and Casey, the arguments of counsel in the current case, and a constitutional review of the Mississippi statute banning abortion after 15 weeks.


Headlines from major media outlets, members of the legal profession, and Obergefell himself, the original plaintiff in the landmark case that established a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, have all painted a future of doom and despair for the LGBT community in the wake of Alito’s opinion.


While these individuals may express genuine concern, after careful review of the Dobbs decision, it is clear that these fears that Alito is “setting his sights” on LGBT rights cannot be validated anywhere within the text of the leaked opinion. Instead, Alito expounds great effort to distinguish abortion from other privacy-based rights that have been found in the Constitution.


Before diving into the actual text of the leaked Dobbs decision, it is important that we first explain the basic methodology courts use to analyze and interpret questions of law.


When courts analyze an issue of law, most typically in cases concerning the Constitution, it is common to compare or “distinguish” the present case (referred to as the “instant case”) from other previous cases and their holdings (prior cases are referred to as “precedent”).


Distinguishing cases from one another is important because courts use it to either validate or reverse the case that is in front of them. This practice has historical roots in common law, and, as a guideline, it means cases with similar facts should produce the same legal results.


Generally, courts must adhere to the holdings of prior precedent due to a legal principle known as stare decisis. However, courts may overturn precedent when prior decisions are “unworkable or are badly reasoned.” This is exceptionally true concerning constitutional cases, and overturning prior precedent has been the cornerstone of the expansion of human rights.

In the leaked opinion, Alito’s discussion of stare decisis refers to Obergefell (right to same-sex marriage) and Lawrence (right to same-sex intimacy) as landmark cases to justify overturning Roe:


“On many other occasions, this Court has overruled important constitutional decisions. [Footnote citing a 1.5-page-long list of case law, including Obergefell and Lawrence]. Without these decisions, American constitutional law as we know it would be unrecognizable, and this would be a different country.” [p. 37-39]

Alito then summarizes his findings in favor of overturning Roe and Casey in the following:


“In this case, five factors weigh strongly in favor of overturning Roe and Casey: 1) the nature of their error, 2) the quality of their reasoning, 3) the ‘workability’ of the rules they imposed on the country, 4) their disruptive effect on other areas of the law, and 5) the absence of concrete reliance.” [Id. at 39]

These factors encompass Justice Alito’s extensive examination of the Dobbs case; however, the last factor, an absence of concrete reliance, entirely distinguishes abortion from other privacy-based rights (including Obergefell and Lawrence).


In other words, Alito is saying: not only is there no right to abortion for all of these reasons (the other four factors), but there is no right to abortion because abortion is entirely different from all of the privacy-based rights that we have established. This shows a clear difference in the way the majority of the court considers the issue of abortion as distinct from LGBT civil rights.


This is the quote that many pro-abortion individuals have pulled from the leaked opinion in order to fearmonger that LGBT rights and other privacy-based rights are at risk:


“Nor does the right to obtain an abortion have any basis in precedent. Casey relied on cases involving [extensive list: the right to marry a person of a different race, the right to marry while in prison, the right to contraceptives, the right to not be sterilized without consent, etc.].
“Respondents and the Solicitor General also rely on post-Casey decisions like Lawrence v. Texas [right to engage in private, consensual sexual acts] and Obergefell v. Hodges, [right to marry a person of the same sex]. These attempts to justify abortion through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one’s ‘concept of existence’ prove too much.” [p. 31-32]

Here, Alito is saying two things: 1) trying to justify upholding past Court decisions (Roe v. Wade) with rulings that occurred afterward (Obergefell and Lawrence) is not sound legal reasoning and fails as an argument; and 2) abortion cannot be justified in the same manner as LGBT rights and other privacy rights.


Alito then elaborates on this second item by continuing:


“Those criteria, at a high level of generality, could license fundamental rights to illicit drug use, prostitution, and the like… None of these rights has any claim to being deeply rooted in history.” [p. 32]

This sentence is clearly meant to critique the use of an unsound interpretation of law to find fundamental rights in illegal drug use and sex work, not to undermine other already established privacy-based rights. Abortion cannot be justified by cases concerning LGBT rights or other privacy rights, because abortion is not the same thing and fails the legal analysis that other privacy rights have satisfied (being “rooted in history” and precedent).


Conveniently, when cited by others in news articles or on social media platforms, the above quote stops before the following paragraph. Here, Alito distinguishes abortion from those privacy-based rights.


“What sharply distinguishes the abortion right from the rights recognized in the cases on which Roe and Casey rely is something that both those decisions acknowledged: Abortion destroys what those decisions call “potential life” and what the law at issue in this case regards as the life of an “unborn human being.” [Citing to Roe, 410 U.S., at 159 (abortion is “inherently different”) and Casey, 505 U.S., at 852 (abortion is a “unique act”)].
None of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey involved the critical moral question of abortion. They are therefore inapposite. They do not support the right to obtain an abortion, and by the same token, our conclusion that the Constitution does not confer such a right [the right to abortion] does not undermine them [the decisions that established other privacy-based rights] in any way.” [p. 32, emphasis added]

Instead of threatening or putting LGBT and other privacy rights “on the chopping block,” Justice Alito again cites an extensive two-page-long footnote that includes cases like Obergefell and Lawrence as examples of instances when the Court “overruled important constitutional decisions.” [p. 37-39] In this section, Justice Alito is clearly using the extensive history of finding privacy-based rights as justification for overruling Roe and Casey because no other privacy-based right concerns the taking of another human life.


Going even further, Justice Alito then addresses the contentions by the Solicitor General that LGBT and other privacy-based rights will be threatened by the Court’s overturning of Roe and Casey:


“Unable to show concrete reliance on Roe and Casey themselves, the Solicitor General suggests that overruling those decisions would “threaten the Court’s precedents holding that the Due Process Clause protects other rights (citing to Obergefell, Lawrence, and Griswold [the right to contraceptives]) . . . “That is not correct for reasons we have already discussed. As even the plurality in Casey recognized, “abortion is a unique act,” because it terminates “life or potential life.’” [p. 62]

And lest anyone accuse Justice Alito as not being thorough, he then explicitly states that there should be no question of the implication his holding will have on other privacy rights:


“And to ensure that our decision is not misunderstood or mischaracterized, we emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” [p. 62]


Alito’s background as a textualist and anti-LGBT history


As a result of the leaked opinion, it is currently a laborious task to wade through all the misleading media attempts at analyzing Justice Alito’s past decisions and legal reasonings to further manufacture a dismal prophecy for privacy-based rights; however, the reality is that Justice Alito has continued to apply a relatively consistent philosophical approach to constitutional interpretation, and, outside of the findings of the opinion, his personal philosophies of law are in no way determinative of the future holdings of the Supreme Court.


Considered one of the conservative justices on the bench, Justice Alito is a typical textualist and originalist in his approach to constitutional interpretation. He is notorious for approaching legal questions on a case-by-case basis, and this, accompanied by quasi-libertarian values, has resulted in unpredictable previous rulings compared to his conservative colleagues.


To be a “textualist” or an “originalist” is a method of explaining one’s philosophical approach to questions of law. Broken down into their most basic concepts, a textualist is someone who believes the actual writing of the text (and not its hidden meaning “between the lines”) should take priority when interpreting the law. An originalist is someone who considers the original intent of the author (usually, for constitutional purposes, the “Framers” of the Constitution) and the original understanding of the text at the time it was written to be extremely important when expanding the interpretation of the text to include ideas that are not explicitly written in the law.


Though Justice Alito was not sitting on the bench when Lawrence was decided, he was one of four justices that dissented in Obergefell. His reasoning for finding no right to same-sex marriage is summarized early in his dissenting opinion:


“The question in these cases, however, is not what States should do about same-sex marriage but whether the Constitution answers that question for them. It does not. The Constitution leaves that question to be decided by the people of each State.” [p. 96-97]

Though a short dissent, Justice Alito bases these findings consistently in line with textualist and originalist beliefs and precedent from Glucksberg (finding no right to physician-assisted suicide), writing that “‘liberty’ under the Due Process Clause should be understood to protect only those rights that are ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.’” [p. 97]


This is a positioning that reflects standard textualist and originalist thinking. In other words, according to this line of thinking, the Constitution does not mention same-sex marriage, the founding fathers likely did not intend to include same-sex marriage as a right, and there is no history or tradition supporting same-sex marriage, so the Court is obligated to find that there is no right to same-sex marriage, even if they personally support it.


To summarize Justice Alito’s positioning differently, he does not believe that the Court should create laws or policy, even if they may be good for society as a whole, because this is the job of the legislature (or “required by democratic process”). When it comes to the Constitution, the only role of the Supreme Court (based on this line of philosophy) is to interpret its meaning based on what it actually says and the intent of the founding fathers at the time it was written. If a right cannot be found in either of those standards, and our laws have not historically recognized it, then it does not exist.


There is no “exact science” when it comes to an individual justice’s positioning on the bench, but, generally speaking, Justice Alito has voted with the majority in 80% of all Supreme Court cases decided since 2011. His prior voting on the Supreme Court has left him squarely in the middle — he was in the majority more frequently than four other justices (Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer, and Thomas) and in the majority less frequently than four other justices as well (Roberts, Kavanaugh, Barrett, Gorsuch).


For those interested in a more comprehensive analysis of Alito’s prior Supreme Court holdings, click here.


In conclusion, while it is important to understand the individual justice’s philosophical approach to Constitutional interpretation, it is not defining nor determinative of future Supreme Court decisions. The only thing that truly matters is the finalized opinion released by the Court because this language is what will be used to distinguish future cases and decisions.



A very brief overview of Lawrence v. Texas, and a less brief overview of Obergefell v. Hodges


Lawrence v. Texas:

Decided in 2003, Lawrence established the right to same-sex intimacy by a 6-3 vote. Justice Alito was not yet sitting on the Supreme Court and did not participate in the decision.


The right to same-sex intimacy was decided primarily under the right to privacy and not under the Equal Protection Clause.


Though not explicitly stated, the Court analyzed whether same-sex intimacy was included in the right to privacy under a similar standard applied in the Dobbs leaked opinion:


“It should be noted that there is no longstanding history in this country of laws directed at homosexual conduct as a distinct manner.” [p. 3] Rather, the Court elaborated that the criminalization of sodomy was applied to same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and these bans were primarily designed to ban non-procreational sexual acts.
Furthermore, the Court emphasized that “laws prohibiting sodomy do not seem to have been enforced against consenting adults acting in private.” [p. 4] Rather, “a substantial number of sodomy prosecutions and convictions… were for predatory acts against those who could not or did not consent, as in the case of a minor or the victim of an assault.” [Id] The purpose of these laws was to ensure there was no lack of legal coverage if a predator committed sexual assault that did not criminally constitute rape. [Id] The actual text of the laws prohibiting sodomy also prevented evidence from a consensual act between adults from being admitted into court, meaning that a sodomy conviction between consenting adults was difficult to obtain. [Id]

Notably, the Court declined to find the right to same-sex intimacy under Equal Protection under the premise that the invalidated law could be rewritten to include opposite-sex couples but have the effect of only impacting same-sex couples. However, the Court did refer to privacy rights cases decided under Equal Protection in its general analysis of precedent. [p. 30]


Obergefell v. Hodges:

Decided in 2015, Obergefell is the landmark case that legalized same-sex marriage by a 5-4 vote.


This case was decided on two grounds: 1) a right to privacy and 2) equal protection.


When analyzing the constitutional right to privacy, and applying an almost identical legal standard to the one utilized by Alito in the leaked Dobbs decision, Justice Kennedy stated: “History and tradition guide and discipline the inquiry but do not set its outer boundaries. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.” [p. 23]


The opinion then goes on to analyze the long-acknowledged and recognized right to marry, citing cases such as Loving (right to interracial marriage) and Turner (prisoner’s right to marry). While these cases, the Court noted, presumed the existence of opposite-sex couples, the Court’s prior holdings of Lawrence (the right to same-sex intimacy) have established historical concepts of protecting the liberty of same-sex individuals.


Furthermore, the Court reasoned, the right to marry does not become less meaningful for couples who are unable to procreate. “Precedent protects the right of a married couple not to procreate [Griswold, access to contraception], so the right to marry cannot be conditioned on the capacity or commitment to procreate.” [p. 16] The Court then goes on to say that it is the states who have defined the importance of marriage, and, for all legal purposes, there is no difference between same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the eyes of the State. [Id]


The Court finds a right to same-sex marriage under the Equal Protection Clause:


“The right of same-sex couples to marry is also derived from the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. The Due Process Clause [where privacy rights are based] and the Equal Protection Clause are connected in a profound way. Rights implicit in liberty and rights secured by equal protection … may be instructive as to the reach of the other… Recognizing that new insights and societal understandings can reveal unjustified inequality within fundamental institutions that once passed unnoticed and unchallenged…The two principles further our understanding of what freedom is and must become.” [p. 24]

The Court then goes on to analyze the history of marriage as it was understood throughout our laws. From cases finding race discrimination and legalizing interracial marriage to invalidating marriage property laws for sex-based discrimination, the Court reasoned that equal protection plays a clear role when upholding the right to marry, and this was only further supported by Lawrence’s protection of same-sex intimacy. [p. 27]


As one of its last points, the Court addresses contentions that allowing same-sex couples to marry would harm the institution of marriage, and this is a key phrase to combat any attempt to compare abortion to same-sex marriage:


“The respondents have not shown a foundation for the conclusion that allowing same-sex marriage will cause the harmful outcomes they describe…it is appropriate to observe these cases involve only the rights of two consenting adults whose marriages would pose no risk of harm to themselves or third parties.” [p. 31-32, emphasis added]

Why does it matter why the Court decided these cases?

TLDR: All of these points are essential to understanding that LGBT rights are not threatened by the language, nor the legal reasoning, of the leaked Dobbs opinion.

  1. The right to same-sex marriage is protected under two constitutional clauses (due process: the right to privacy and equal protection). Roe v. Wade is not.

  2. The right to same-sex marriage and same-sex intimacy satisfies the textualist/originalist standard of tradition and precedent. Roe v. Wade does not.

  3. The right to same-sex marriage and same-sex intimacy was supported by the conclusion that it poses no risk of harm to the participants or third parties. Roe v. Wade does.



Criticisms of media from legal professionals and others claiming that LGBT Rights are threatened


An objective, unbiased, non-agenda-pushing interpretation of any legal text always begins with an “on-its-face” reading of the text (i.e. “What does the text actually say?”). It is after first reading the text and taking the author at their word, that the individual may “read between the lines” by speculating on the meaning of the text based on what is omitted or implied.


As always, legal professionals and others are free to make their own speculations about what the leaked opinion may mean for other privacy-based rights, but they should not maliciously incite fear by misquoting, misconstruing, and openly misinterpreting what they have been trained to analyze and understand from an objective viewpoint.


There is no excuse for a trained legal professional, even one who is pro-abortion, to fear-monger that LGBT and other similar rights are directly threatened by the leaked opinion, unless a) they didn’t actually read the opinion; or b) they intend to exploit marginalized communities as a last-ditch effort to maintain the so-called right to abortion. One can only hope that they simply didn’t read the opinion.


The following tweets are common claims and arguments that other privacy-based rights (including LGBT rights) are threatened by the language in the leaked opinion. I debunked them so you don’t have to:


Debunking tweets: “Phony rights not deeply rooted in history


tweet from Mark Joseph Stern. "Alito's draft opinion explicitly criticizes Lawrence v. Texas (legalizing sodomy) and Obergefell v. Hodges (legalizing same-sex marriage). He says that, like abortion, these decisions protect phony rights that are not "deeply rooted in history.""

We are going to break this down into two sections because this tweet is conflating separate statements as one.


Though this was discussed above, I’ve included it here for your reference.


Here is the actual text of the opinion that this tweet refers to:


“Respondents and the Solicitor General also rely on post-Casey decisions like Lawrence v. Texas, (right to engage in private, consensual sexual acts), and Obergefell v. Hodges, (right to marry a person of the same sex). These attempts to justify abortion through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one’s “concept of existence” prove too much.” [p. 31-32]

Here, Alito is saying two things: 1) trying to justify upholding past Court decisions (Roe v. Wade) with rulings that occurred afterward (Obergefell and Lawrence) is not sound legal reasoning and fails as an argument; and 2) abortion cannot be justified in the same manner as LGBT rights and other privacy rights because abortion takes the life (or, at “best,” potential life) of a human being.


Alito then elaborates on this second item by continuing: “Those criteria, at a high level of generality, could license fundamental rights to illicit drug use, prostitution, and the like… None of these rights has any claim to being deeply rooted in history.” [p. 32]


If anything, this sentence is criticizing illegal drug use and the commercial sex trade, nothing more. Abortion cannot be justified by cases concerning LGBT rights or other privacy rights because abortion is not the same thing and fails the legal analysis that other privacy rights have satisfied (being “rooted in history” and precedent).


Conveniently, this quote stops before the following paragraph that entirely distinguishes abortion from those privacy-based rights (i.e., that abortion is not a privacy-based right, and the privacy-based rights outside of abortion are valid constitutional rights of the people).


“What sharply distinguishes the abortion right from the rights recognized in the cases on which Roe and Casey rely is something that both those decisions acknowledged: Abortion destroys what those decisions call “potential life” and what the law at issue in this case regards as the life of an “unborn human being.” [Citing to Roe, 410 U.S., at 159 (abortion is “inherently different”) and Casey, 505 U.S., at 852 (abortion is a “unique act”)].
None of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey involved the critical moral question by abortion. They are therefore inapposite. They do not support the right to obtain an abortion, and by the same token, our conclusion that the Constitution does not confer such a right [the right to abortion] does not undermine them [other privacy based rights] in any way.” [p. 32, emphasis added]

TLDR: No, Alito is not in any way calling LGBT rights or other privacy rights “phony,” nor is he even criticizing these rights. Throughout the entire opinion, Justice Alito clarifies that the decisions related to LGBT rights and other established privacy rights involved sound legal reasoning, and the reasons that those rights were found to be valid are the same reasons the “right” to an abortion fails.



Debunking tweets: “Groundwork for overturning Lawrence and Obergefell” by a Harvard Law Clinic Professor


Tweet from Alejandra Caraballo. "This decision lays the groundwork to overturn Griswold (birth control) , Obergefell (gay marriage) , Lawrence v Texas (criminalization of same sex conduct). This decision is one of the most radical decisions ever drafted."

Respectfully, this is a blatant lie, and I am very disappointed to see a legal professional (someone who knows better) fearmongering and endangering others through these statements.


The leaked opinion explicitly does the opposite of what this person is accusing because Justice Alito directly addresses whether LGBT and other privacy-based rights will be threatened by the Court’s overturning of Roe and Casey:


“Unable to show concrete reliance on Roe and Casey themselves, the Solicitor General suggests that overruling those decisions would 'threaten the Court’s precedents holding that the Due Process Clause protects other rights [citing to Obergefell, Lawrence, and Griswold (the right to contraceptives)]' . . . That is not correct for reasons we have already discussed. As even the plurality in Casey recognized, 'abortion is a unique act,' because it terminates 'life or potential life.'
“And to ensure that our decision is not mis-understood or mischaracterized, we emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” [p. 62]

The claim that this is a radical decision is both inflammatory and irrational.


Privacy-based rights have historically been decided based on whether they were rooted in tradition and prior precedent, and it was on these grounds that cases such as Lawrence, Obergefell, and Griswold were decided. If anything, those who are not fans of textualist and originalist interpretation may be disheartened to see that this version of constitutional interpretation has prevailed, but this does not threaten the integrity of past privacy rights that were decided in this same manner.


Debunking tweets: Thomas concurring in denial of certiorari (Alito joining) criticizing Obergefell (concurrence here)


Tweet from Steve Vladeck. "For those who insist that, notwithstanding the draft opinion in Dobbs, #SCOTUS would *never* revisit same-sex marriage, here's what Justices Thomas and Alito had to say in October 2020 about the Court's 5-4 ruling in Obergefell..." it then shows screenshots of Justice Thomas's concurrence in a separate case where he criticized the Obergefell decision

As mentioned earlier, Justice Alito has been a long-time critic of privacy-based rights.


For lack of a better analogy, this tweet is looking at a butterfly and calling it a caterpillar. While Alito has clearly criticized privacy rights in the past, his use of case law establishing LGBT and other privacy rights as a basis for overturning Roe v. Wade is a high-level validation of those rights. Frankly, it was well within Alito’s discretion to exclude cases like Obergefell and Lawrence when overturning Roe v. Wade, but he chose to include them anyway. Alito made the conscious choice to distinguish LGBT rights and make clear that they were not, in any way, threatened by the Court’s decision to overturn Roe. Instead, the finding of LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage, was one of the ultimate justifications for overturning unjust and egregious human rights violations such as Roe.


To emphasize just how important this language is from the opinion, I’m going to quote page 62 again:


“Unable to show concrete reliance on Roe and Casey themselves, the Solicitor General suggests that overruling those decisions would “threaten the Court’s precedents holding that the Due Process Clause protects other rights [citing to Obergefell, Lawrence, and Griswold (the right to contraceptives)] . . . “That is not correct for reasons we have already discussed. As even the plurality in Casey recognized, “abortion is a unique act,” because it terminates “life or potential life.’
“And to ensure that our decision is not mis-understood or mischaracterized, we emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” [p. 62]


Conclusion


I am cognizant of the recent rise in anti-LGBT legislation on the state level, and I remain concerned that certain LGBT rights issues could make their way back to the Supreme Court for reinterpretation. I also recognize that Justice Alito and I likely do not see eye-to-eye on every issue of human rights or constitutional interpretation; however, it is clear to me that overturning Roe is not going to threaten LGBT rights. Rather, if this draft opinion is to be released, it would be a first step toward expanding human rights protections to some of the most vulnerable among us. Any concerns that one may have about the future of LGBT rights, while potentially valid, simply cannot be found in the language of the leaked Dobbs decision.


In fact, were the leaked Dobbs opinion to remain unchanged and be released as is, I would instead feel an assurance that established LGBT rights and protections would be harder to challenge as a result. This is because it is clear that Justice Alito has exerted tremendous effort to validate other privacy-based rights and distinguish them from abortion. If anything, Justice Alito’s efforts to distinguish the egregiously wrong reasoning behind the “right” to abortion from other privacy rights is a reassurance that these rights remain unthreatened and not within the Court’s review. Personally, this brings me comfort.


Human rights and social justice advocacy does not end with passing one piece of legislation or one opinion from the Supreme Court. It must be a continuous, multifaceted movement that also requires community aid, access to resources, and changing social perceptions of marginalized groups. Regardless of what the final decision holds, those of us concerned with both LGBT and unborn rights must continue to organize and hold our elected officials accountable on these issues and continue working to improve the material conditions of LGBT people, unborn children, and their parents.


Whether the rights at issue belong to the unborn or LGBT people, an expansion of rights for one group is not an infringement on another.


Disclaimer: The views presented in the Rehumanize Blog do not necessarily represent the views of all members, contributors, or donors. We exist to present a forum for discussion within the Consistent Life Ethic, to promote discourse and present an opportunity for peer review and dialogue.

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