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Most same-sex married couples worry gay marriage will be overturned

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Around 80% of same-sex married couples fear losing legalized marriage equality in the coming years, according to a new study from the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The study found that 79.3% of same-sex married couples were either “very” or “somewhat concerned” about the Supreme Court overturning Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized marriage equality nationwide.

The study also found that that among the surveyed couples, 93% married for love, and 75% married for legal protection. It also found that marriage equality had a positive impact on same-sex couples. About 83% of respondents “reported positive changes in their sense of safety and security” after marrying.

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Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito have both expressed criticism of the 2015 ruling that legalized marriage equality nationwide. In his footnote in the 2022 decision for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the case that overturned the legal right to abortion services across many the nation — Thomas wrote that in “future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”

The other two cases that Thomas referenced guaranteed the right to contraception and consensual gay sex, respectively.

Alito said in February of this year that the court’s 2015 same-sex marriage decision made it so that “Americans who do not hide their adherence to traditional religious beliefs about homosexual conduct will be ‘labeled as bigots and treated as such’ by the government.”

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are the only justices who voted in favor of marriage equality that remain on the bench. In the years since, the Supreme Court has swung to the right with six conservative justices and three liberal justices currently on its bench.

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