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Language of Alito's draft opinion raises concerns over other rights

Language of Alito's draft opinion raises concerns over other rights 02:45

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- When the draft of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's majority opinion dropped on Monday evening, the wording in those 60 pages worried not only women's rights advocates, but married gay couples concerned the language could also be used to decimate marriage equality. 

It was December 1st, 1998, when David Perry first met his husband Alfredo in an AOL chatroom. It was love at first sight. 

"We got married, had a ceremony and got our domestic partnership almost a year later in the garden of one of our very best friends," Perry told KPIX 5. 

When gay marriage briefly became legal in California, David and Alfredo moved quickly to get legally married. Now, the worry is there that David and Alfredo's right to have their marriage legally recognized could be rolled back again. 

"There's a lot of things that courts and legislators have based new found advances in society on a right to privacy. So, I think indeed this is a slippery slope," Perry said.

The draft ruling in the Dobbs case, according to UC Hastings constitutional law Professor David Levine, points in two different directions 

"The distinction that he makes in this draft opinion is about abortion. We have the fetus' interest as potentially separate from the mother. That gives the state a different sort of interest. There's language in there suggesting don't over read this," Levine told KPIX 5. 

Professor Levine says then there's the interpretation of right to privacy which is the basis for rulings not only Roe v. Wade, but Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality ruling. 

"All of those flow from the idea that the Constitution does protect certain rights beyond those that are explicitly written in the Constitution and that there is some wiggle room in words like the due-process clause, liberty, et cetera. But this opinion is going to knock that out and say that there is no role in that kind of interpretation of the constitution," Levin explained.

E. Gilliam has been with her wife Shireen for 14 years, married for five of those. They're now looking into the getting the protection of a durable power of attorney in case marriage equality is the next target. 

"You get married, you don't have to think about those things. But, yeah, we're thinking about it anyway," said Gilliam. "Like, what if we're traveling in a country that doesn't recognize our marriage? Or what if we're traveling in Alabama? But yeah, we're gonna do that."

David and Alfredo got that protection in 2016 after Donald Trump was elected.  

"When I hear and I read Justice Alito's opinion -- when he says, 'This is just about abortion. This is about nothing else.' -- frankly, I don't put a great deal of faith in those words, Because we have had our hopes dashed so many times.," Perry said. 

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