Public Support for Marriage Equality at All-Time High Approaching the Anniversaries of Landmark Supreme Court Decisions that Contributed to LGBTQ+ Equality

by Aryn Fields

The Human Rights Campaign Honors the Anniversaries of Lawrence v. Texas, United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges

Anniversaries Fall as We Await Ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson

WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, commemorates the anniversaries of three historic U.S. Supreme Court decisions that led to securing the right to marriage for same-sex couples—Lawrence v Texas, United States v Windsor and Obergefell v Hodges. Since Obergefell cemented marriage equality into law seven years ago, it has quickly grown in acceptance and support. Seven in ten Americans (71%) express support for marriage equality; that number has consistently risen since 2015 when 60% of Americans were in favor of marriage equality. Now, there are approximately 568,000 married same-sex couples, which is 58% of all same-sex households.

Interim President of The Human Rights Campaign, Joni Madison, issued the following statement:

As we approach these momentous anniversaries, we remember our victories and how far we’ve come in our fight for equality. But we cannot ignore the moment we are in—potentially moments away from one of our most intimately held constitutional freedoms being stripped from us, our right to safe, legal abortion. If the Supreme Court is willing to abandon 50 years of precedent by overturning Roe v. Wade, none of our hard-won rights are safe.

“If Roe is overturned, it is paramount for members of the LGBTQ+ community to know that there is no immediate impact on any other case decided by the Supreme Court, including Lawrence and Obergefell. But it would encourage power-hungry state lawmakers to test the limits of court recognized LGBTQ+ equality—and state legislatures are already coming after us, right now. Let these anniversaries remind us of where we came from and why we absolutely refuse to go backwards.”

Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President

On June 26, 2015, the Obergefell decision recognized a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry, requiring all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to legally recognize the marriages of same-sex couples validly performed in other jurisdictions. On that same day in 2013, the Windsor decision struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denied legally married same-sex couples access to the federal right, benefits, and obligations of marriage. That same day in 2003, the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence struck down a Texas law criminalizing same-sex sexual intimacy and invalidated sodomy laws in 13 other states. These cases laid the groundwork, and built upon one another, in order to further equal rights for LGBTQ+ people.

While the nation waits on the impending decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, the case that directly asks the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, HRC released a fact sheet that highlights the importance of the protections enshrined in Roe to members of the LGBTQ+ community. The data shows that LGBTQ+ women who have been pregnant are more likely to have had unwanted or mistimed pregnancies than heterosexual women and are more likely to need abortion services as well. Specifically, the report found lesbian (22.8%) and bisexual (27.2%) women who have been pregnant are more likely than heterosexual women (15.4%) who have been pregnant to have had an abortion according to a new analysis of the 2017-2019 National Survey for Family Growth (NSFG) conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

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