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With Roe v. Wade gone, Chicago's LGBTQ+ community worries their rights could be next

With Roe gone, many in Chicago's LGBTQ+ community worry their rights could be next
With Roe gone, many in Chicago's LGBTQ+ community worry their rights could be next 02:38

CHICAGO (CBS Chicago/CBS News) -- As the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and eliminated a federal constitutional right to abortion Friday, Justice Clarence Thomas urged his colleagues to reevaluate other landmark cases protecting contraceptive access, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriages.

In a concurring opinion delivered Friday, Thomas suggested that the logic used by the court's conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey could signal similar outcomes for cases that recognized other personal rights: Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v. Texas, and Obergefell v. Hodges. In the Griswold case, in 1965, the court threw out a state law banning the use of contraception. Lawrence v. Texas, in 2003, established that states cannot criminalize private sex acts between consenting adults. And in Obergefell, in 2015, the court ruled same-sex couples have an equal right to marry.

Thomas argued that since the majority ruled that the right to abortion "is not a form of 'liberty' protected by the Due Process Clause" of the 14th Amendment, the same reasoning should apply more broadly. 

"In the future, we should reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell," he wrote.

All the other justices disagreed with Thomas' proclamations. But as CBS 2's Marissa Perlman reported, concerns that rights may be taken away in a future ruling has ignited a fear in Chicago's LGBTQ+ community – and just as Pride weekend is getting under way.

The area on and around North Halsted Street is ready for the Pride Parade to take off on Sunday. It is back for the first time in three years, having been absent in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Now it's back, and now it's back with a cause," said Ryan McIntyre of Chicago.

Nut a shadow is falling on what is normally a victory party for civil rights.

"It's the first domino," McIntyre said.

That first domino was the SCOTUS ruling Friday on abortion rights – which will not change the law in Illinois, but does allow states to ban abortion.

McIntyre says same-sex marriage, and LGBTQ rights based on privacy, could be next.

"Everything is on the table now, and it's all going to be affected," McIntyre said, "and I think that this is just the first strike – the first blow."

Sophia Verduzco drove in from Indiana just to celebrate Pride.

"I want to be amongst the people celebrating their freedom - and of course, today of all days, it's hard to celebrate that," Verduzco said.

Her home state is poised to limit abortion access.

"If this is not 100 steps back, then I don't know what is," Verduzco said.

Colleen Connell, executive director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, said contraceptive and same-sex marriage rights are at the most risk of being overturned given Justice Thomas' remarks about the Obergefell and Griswold decisions.

"Justice Thomas invited litigants to really bring a case to the court, so that the court could revisit and overrule its decision," Connell said.

She said the Roe ruling makes it clear – the battle is not just about abortion rights.

"We hold the power as the people, and those rights are as secure – even here in Illinois – as the next election," Connell said, "and so it's up to us."

While Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion that other rights were not at issue, LGBTQ+ activists say overturning Roe could leave to other challenges.

Regardless, the parade on Sunday will now be shrouded the message of activism, evoking Pride Parades of yore.

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