Published: Saturday, May. 7th, 2022
Unless you’ve been living in an underground bunker somewhere, you’ve heard about the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that reveals the Court is close to overturning Roe v Wade – the landmark decision that protects a woman's right to have an abortion.
What you might not know is that this decision would also provide a legal pathway to new state bans against interracial marriages and same-sex marriages.
How? Well, the Supreme Court decisions that protect the rights of individuals to enter into interracial marriages and same-sex marriages – primarily Loving v Virginia and Obergefell v Hodges – rely on the same legal logic that was used to decide in favor of Roe v Wade.
Specifically, that certain rights not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution are nevertheless protected by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
If the Court now determines the reasoning used in Roe v Wade is no longer sound, all cases that similarly rely on the 14th Amendment at the federal level are at risk. These cases will likely be challenged at the state and federal level in the coming months and years.
A quick look at the leaked draft opinion, written by Justice Alito, makes this clear:
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely – the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty…
…It’s time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
There are already rumblings of what awaits us in this potential future, in which individual states have the power to ban any human right not explicitly mentioned in Constitution:
Just last month, Indiana’s Republican Senator Mike Braun told a room full of reporters that individual states should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to ban interracial marriage. He stated that the Supreme Court overstepped its role when deciding Loving v Virginia.
And in Tennessee, lawmakers introduced legislation that would sidestep Obergefell v Hodges by creating an alternate form of legal marriage only available to heterosexual couples. They stated that the definition of marriage should be left up to the state.
What can you do to protect the rights of people in your community?
Writing legislators, protesting, and sharing information are all necessary actions of change, but we believe that your role as an AMM Minister places you in a unique position to do more.
We believe that our ministers have the power to be an overwhelming source of love and acceptance in their communities, and to lead by consistent and conscientious example.
Our commitment to equality insists that we see ourselves in every person we meet, whether it be the pregnant woman facing a life-altering decision, or the gay man seeking to marry his partner in the face of discrimination, and in every other living being that shares the miraculous light of consciousness through which this world experiences itself.
By being proudly inclusive, by offering ministry and marriage services to couples and their families without judgment, by meeting people on their own terms, and by lovingly serving those who might otherwise be discriminated against because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation, our ministers are a daily force for good in the world.
In this way, we aren’t urging you to do anything per se, but rather, we ask you to take a moment for quiet reflection where you listen to that part of you that transcends your body, your thinking mind, and your ego. Hear that voice, and listen to its quiet, yet powerful directive. That’s your mandate, that’s your guide, and that’s the path along which you will find love and freedom.
And we believe that this type of loving presence and intentional action is more valuable, and more necessary, than ever.
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