The Supreme Court has reconvened to discuss crucial topics facing the U.S., like the future of same-sex marriage.
Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. advised the court to reconsider the 2015 precedent to legalize same-sex marriage.
Both believe that the original Obergefell v. Hodges' case contradicts the First Amendment of religious freedom.
Justice Thomas said, “Due to Obergefell, those with sincerely held religious beliefs concerning marriage will find it increasingly difficult to participate in society.”
But the lead plaintiff in the case, Jim Obergefell, described the justice’s opinion as “deeply disturbing and upsetting.”
Obergefell responded by saying, “Justices Thomas and Alito seem to imply that freedom of religion carries more weight, is more important, than all other rights.”
LSU Spanish Professor Stephanie Colin believes that religion should not be a basis for denying certain individuals their rights.
“There’s a clause in the Constitution that says that there needs to be a separation of church and state,” Colin says.
“The fact that we’re trying to bring religion back into what kind of laws should be passed or not passed is again, you know, reversing progress that we’ve made and progress that we’ve made at such a late point in the game.”
Colin also believes that the current political climate is opening avenues for legal progress that has been made to be reversed. This discussion outlines a perspective of positives and negatives for the LGBTQ+ community.
Within the negative perspective, the current climate allows people to reject the non-normative based upon sexuality, race, gender and how one makes those things visible to the world. The positive perspective allows people within the LGBTQ+ community to connect and create a community for safe haven.
The Obergefell v. Hodges case held in a 5-4 decision granted same-sex couples the fundamental right to marry under the 14th Amendment.
But in Supreme Court history, there have been over 300 cases overturned, often due to a political shift or societal views.
The Doctrine of Stare Decisis could cement the prior decision. Stare Decisis is the legal principle of determining points in litigation.
LSU senior Caleb Keller does not think this case rises to the level of unconstitutionality under the guides of religious freedom.
Keller says, "It’s not about a case being potentially unconstitutional on the basis that there might be a tax included or something like that."
"It’s literally questioning whether queer people have the right and access to the same rights as every human being and more or less establishes their humanity," he continued. "So I just don’t believe that this is something that should be overturned.”
Both Keller and Colin believe that this discussion is creating a divide in the country and labeling people within the LGBTQ+ community as an “other.”