SAN FRANCISCO - When word of the Supreme Court's decision striking down Roe v. Wade leaked in early May, there were concerns about what it could mean for other rights. Sure enough, in a concurring opinion today, Justice Clarence Thomas urged the court to review other cases protecting contraceptive access, and same-sex marriages.
"More than ever we want to show our thanks and gratitude for those who fight to get us to this point," said Monica Tiojanco, moments after her marriage. "And we know that we have to keep fighting. Especially after this morning."
In the building where the same sex marriage battle was fought, and seemingly won, today was supposed to be a celebration of that legacy. Newlyweds Katelyn & Monica say the news from Washington came as a reminder that their ceremony is not to be taken for granted.
"It's a good thing we're getting married today," Monica said of the circumstances. "Just, even more, even more of a reason to make today special."
"It's absolutely not a stretch to be concerned about marriage, to be concerned about contraception," explained San Jose State University Professor Grace Howard.
"Even outside the realm of privacy there are some pretty huge implications based on how they structure this opinion."
Howard says the court's abortion decision could create a similar situation for marriage, a divide among states. A couple could be married in California, but perhaps not within other state boundaries.
"If you move somewhere where they don't, maybe they pass a law that says 'we are going to prohibit gay marriage here,' Howard said of what may be to come. "Then your union could not be recognized. And there are huge implications there for things like child custody, things like hospital visitation."
"It is our right, just like it's anybody else's right to get married and live a happy life with each other," Katelyn said.
This decision landing just ahead of the big Pride weekend is a bit like recent history in reverse. The court issued landmark rulings upholding gay marriage in 2013 with DOMA, and then Obergefell in 2015. Both of those were announced at this time, and many considered them a kind of gift ahead of those Pride weekends.
for more features.