Lead Plaintiff and Defendant of Obergefell V. Hodges, The Landmark Case That Made Marriage Equality the Law of the Land, Joined Forces to Oppose Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation to the Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 20, 2020) – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Family Equality, Jim Obergefell, and Rick Hodges—the lead plaintiff and defendant in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that granted marriage equality to same-sex couples—for a press conference to call on Senate to delay the confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice until after the inauguration of the next President.
With Barrett added to the Court, a rightward tilt could result in the diminishment of marriage equality and the full benefits and protections for families that come with it—despite the fact that a majority of Americans support marriage equality.
Brown introduced the first-ever Senate Pride Month Resolution in June 2017, after President Trump broke the eight-year tradition of offering an official presidential proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month. This is the fourth year in a row that Brown has introduced the resolution.
Brown, Obergefell, and Hodges were also joined by Denise Brogan-Kator, Chief Policy Officer and CEO (interim) of Family Equality and U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
View a recording of the press conference HERE.
“President Trump and Leader Mitch McConnell are willing to move heaven and earth to rush to put another corporate special interest justice on the Supreme Court – someone who threatens the progress we have made to advance equality for LGBTQ families, and could take away their health care protections in the middle of a pandemic. In a matter of weeks, the Supreme Court will hear the case pushed by President Trump to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, a move the American people have rejected over and over. That’s why we should not be holding these hearings or having a vote on this nominee until Americans can make their voices heard in the election,” said Sen. Brown, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
“I cannot stress how important it is that the two opposing sides of such a momentous ruling can stand together as friends to defend the LGBTQ+ community’s right to fully engage in our society as equals,” said Jim Obergefell, named plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges and Family Equality’s Director of Individual Giving. “Our families are our future, and Ms. Barrett’s well-known stances on marriage equality, trans equality, and other issues represent a series risk to our civil rights.”
“I stand before you as a lifelong Republican and longtime public servant. Throughout my life, my faith and conscience have compelled me to respect everyone and treat others the way I wish to be treated. That is why I, along with 70% of Americans, fully support marriage equality,” said Rick Hodges, named defendant in Obergefell v. Hodges and former Director of the Ohio Department of Health. “I fear that that’s what’s at stake with this fateful nomination to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: that all Americans are treated with full dignity and respect, regardless of who they are or whom they love, and that all American families benefit fully and equally from the government services they pay for through their taxes. Thus I stand here today with my friend Jim, bound by our names on a historic, momentous, and frankly, wonderful decision, to oppose the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. ”
“Family Equality is proud to stand with Jim Obergefell, Rick Hodges, and Senators Brown, Murray, and Wyden to oppose the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court,” said Denise Brogan-Kator, CEO (Interim) and Chief Policy Officer, Family Equality. “She threatens LGBTQ+ Americans’ well-being, including our ability to protect and form our families. LGBTQ+ families are justifiably afraid—as am I—of how this nomination will affect, and possibly degrade our daily lives.”
Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.