Roe v. Wade: Bay Area LGBTQ+ community worries rights could be threatened next if abortion is banned

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022
If abortion banned, Bay Area LGBTQ+ community worries about rights
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Bay Area LGBTQ+ community worry if Roe v. Wade is overturned, the SCOTUS will be coming for them next, including marriage between same-sex couples.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The 98-page draft opinion leaked on Monday, and first published by Politico, is certainly still front and center.

Justice Samuel Alito's text noted, "Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion."

However, many are not convinced.

San Francisco Pride board president, Carolyn Wysinger, reacted with alarm. She told ABC7 News, if Roe v. Wade could be overturned, it wouldn't stop there.

"If that's possible, you know, the fight on voters' rights is definitely up. The fight on mixed-marriages is definitely up. The fight on any type of rights and protection that you have is definitely up," Wysinger shared. "And everyone needs to pay attention."

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A former Supreme Court clerk who worked with Justice Blackmun, author behind Roe v. Wade, says the leaked draft is shocking and appalling.

Buried in the draft is criticism of Lawrence v. Texas, which legalized sodomy, and Obergefell v. Hodges- legalizing marriage between same-sex couples.

Golden Gate University Constitutional Law Professor Kathleen Morris weighed in.

"If they go after, you know Obergefell and Lawrence v. Texas, then that leaves open the possibility of criminalizing the LGBTQ community across the board," Morris told ABC7 News. "It does feel as if there's an effort to dismantle the gains that have been made, in order to get back to a time- that's a kind of Ozzie and Harriet time- that's the kind of you know, pre-1965."

She also helped write the legal complaint when San Francisco challenged California's ban on marriage between same-sex couples.

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"When we were litigating the Marriage Equality cases, you know, 20 years ago, we said the right isn't properly framed as 'same sex marriage,' or 'gay marriage,' - quote, unquote - the right is properly framed as 'the right to marry the person of your choice, rather than to have the state the government interfere in that choice that you're making,'" Morris said.

Many pointing to the potential Supreme Court shockwave, if these landmark rulings were to be reversed. These are rights the draft claims are not, "Deeply rooted in history."

"It's really challenging to think about how this can be unraveled based on people's attachment to what is normal, what is American, what is acceptable," Jennifer Kim Anh Tran, Professor of Ethnic Studies at California State University, East Bay, added.

On Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris addressed potential impacts to other freedoms and what she called the "fundamental right to privacy."

VP Harris said, "When the right to privacy is attacked, anyone in our country may face a future where the government can interfere with their personal decisions. Not just women, anyone."

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Tran said it's important to note that change is possible at the ballot box this November.

"We oftentimes think that, you know, once the policy's passed it can't be undone," she shared. "And what we're seeing is that's absolutely not true, depending on who represents you."

Identifying herself as "a queer Southeast Asian woman, Professor of Ethnic Studies, and queer of color experiences," she explained this development is challenging. As she considers the years of progress and advancements made when it comes to rights for the groups she identifies with.

Wysinger with SF Pride added, "All of these landmark decisions are the foundation and bedrock of all the smaller rights that we have been able to gain over the last seven years. And this is a really big one. I don't think it's the last one."

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