Media Matter for America notes that leading up to the 2020 confirmation of then-Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Fox News propagandist Sean Hannity falsely assured viewers that federal abortion protections were safe and sound. “In spite of the lies the left will tell you, Judge Barrett has been described as personally pro-life but has expressed doubts that Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned,” he said at the time.
That one aged like a carton of milk left out in the sun, after the Supreme Court struck down the landmark decision last week. Next on the right wing’s agenda is marriage equality. How do we know that? Because voices in that faction are currently insisting that worries over Obergefell v. Hodges are overblown, Media Matters said. Much like Hannity was insisting in saying that Roe v. Wade was safe.
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“Yet in the aftermath of the ruling, right-wing media have attempted to dismiss the genuine possibility that Obergefell could face the same fate as Roe, reflecting their earlier push to downplay the risks to Roe,” Media Matters reports. “Meanwhile, many right-wing outlets, including some of the same ones denying gay marriage is under threat, have called for Obergefell to be repealed.”
Among them is Hannity, yet again. The propagandist insisted on June 24 that concerns over marriage equality were “left-wing lunacy,” Media Matters said. But just days later, on June 28, he said “’striking down Roe should open up the high court to review other precedents’ before suggesting that striking down ‘Griswold, Lawrence, and some [other cases]’ would be ‘the most democratic for this democratic republic that we live in,’” the report continued.
You might ask how he manages to hold both views at once? Well, the same way the Supreme Court claimed abortion should be left to the states but then blocked New York's strict limits on the concealed carry of firearms in public: There simply is no logic. They say and do it because they can get away with it. Others insisting that marriage equality isn’t at risk are The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board and racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory proponent Tucker Carlson.
“As with their tactic on Roe, right-wing media outlets are intent on gaslighting their audiences into believing that the right to gay marriage is safe,” Media Matters continued. “They'll push that claim just long enough for the same powerful conservative organizations responsible for overturning federal abortion protections to overturn marriage equality. Two of the organizations that filed briefs in support of Dobbs, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council, are both vocal critics of Obergefell and have leadership that is frequently featured on right-wing outlets like Fox News.”
Remember, we only need look to what the most far-right members of the court themselves have foreshadowed. Clarence Thomas, who authored the New York decision and is married to a fellow extremist who sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election, issued a concurring decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that offered a list of rights he wanted struck down, including marriage equality.
”Thomas argues that the Supreme Court should go beyond ending abortion rights and end those other rights that so many people have been warning that Republicans and this court would next move to dismantle: birth control, marriage equality, the very right to same-sex intimate relationships,” Daily Kos’ Laura Clawson wrote at the time. “In future cases,” Thomas writes, “we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”
Yes, this was Thomas’ separate opinion, but the vast swath of devastating cases released this term make it clear that without reform, this court is pointed in Thomas’ direction, not the other way around.
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