Justice Alito takes aim at gay marriage in ‘politically charged speech’

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11/13/2020

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito criticized same-sex marriage as a harbinger of the erosion of free speech in America, drawing renewed concern from LGBTQ advocates about the future of this recently gained right. In a virtual address Thursday to the conservative Federalist Society, Alito took aim the landmark 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that guaranteed gay marriage rights across the country, as well as restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus and talk of restructuring the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary more broadly. “You can’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Until recently, that’s what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now, it’s considered bigotry,” Alito said in his speech. “That this would happen after our decision in Obergefell should not have come as a surprise.” Alito then cited his dissent in which he theorized that the majority’s opinion in the case would lead to those who “cling to traditional views on marriage” being “labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers and schools.” He then warned that freedom of speech is “falling out of favor in some circles” and at risk of becoming a “second-tier constitutional right.”

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