Jim Obergefell and Rick Hodges Call on Senate to Delay Supreme Court Confirmation

The lead plaintiff and defendant of Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark case that made marriage equality the law of the land, joined forces to oppose Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Washington, DC – Today, Family Equality joined Jim Obergefell and Rick Hodges—the lead plaintiff and defendant in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that granted marriage equality to same-sex couples—for a press conference to call on the Senate to delay the confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice until after the inauguration of the next President.

With Judge Barrett added to the Court, a rightward tilt could result in the diminishment of marriage equality and the full benefits and protections for families that come with it—despite the fact that a majority of Americans support marriage equality. 

Obergefell and Hodges were also joined by Denise Brogan-Kator, Chief Policy Officer and CEO (interim) of Family Equality and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). 

Excerpts from the speakers’ and Senators’ remarks below, and a full transcript of Denise, Jim, and Rick’s remarks can be found here.

View the full press conference here.

Denise Brogan-Kator, CEO (Interim) and Chief Policy Officer, Family Equality

“Family Equality is proud to stand with Jim Obergefell, Rick Hodges, and Senators Brown, Murray, and Wyden to oppose the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She threatens LGBTQ+ Americans’ well-being, including our ability to protect and form our families. LGBTQ+ families are justifiably afraid—as am I—of how this nomination will affect, and possibly degrade our daily lives.”

Rick Hodges, named defendant in Obergefell v. Hodges and former Director of the Ohio Department of Health:

I stand before you as a lifelong Republican and longtime public servant. Throughout my life, my faith and conscience have compelled me to respect everyone and treat others the way I wish to be treated. That is why I, along with 70% of Americans, fully support marriage equality.”

I fear that that’s what’s at stake with this fateful nomination to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:  that all Americans are treated with full dignity and respect, regardless of who they are or whom they love, and that all American families benefit fully and equally from the government services they pay for through their taxes.”

Thus I stand here today with my friend Jim, bound by our names on a historic, momentous, and frankly, wonderful decision, to oppose the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett.

Jim Obergefell, named plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges and Family Equality’s Director of Individual Giving:

“I cannot stress how important it is that the two opposing sides of such a momentous ruling can stand together as friends to defend the LGBTQ+ community’s right to fully engage in our society as equals.”

“Our families are our future, and Ms. Barrett’s well-known stances on marriage equality, trans equality, and other issues represent a series risk to our civil rights.” 

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH):

“President Trump and Leader Mitch McConnell are willing to move heaven and earth to rush to put another corporate special interest justice on the Supreme Court – someone who threatens the progress we have made to advance equality for LGBTQ families and could take away their health care protections in the middle of a pandemic. In a matter of weeks, the Supreme Court will hear the case pushed by President Trump to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, a move the American people have rejected over and over. That’s why we should not be holding these hearings or having a vote on this nominee until Americans can make their voices heard in the election.”

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee:

“Though Republicans may want to pretend that Judge Barrett’s silence means that she’s not a threat to established cases like Obergefell, and that lives across the country won’t be impacted by their refusal to let voters make their voices heard in the upcoming election—we won’t be fooled, and we won’t be ignored. The LGBTQIA+ community will keep speaking up and speaking out, and Democrats will be right there beside them—fighting with them, and lifting up their voices.”

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR):

“Senate Republicans haven’t lifted a finger for months to help American families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic but are preparing to confirm a nominee who will serve on the Supreme Court for life in less than two weeks. As last night’s Supreme Court ruling on voting showed, fundamental freedoms now hang by a thread—and those freedoms include the right to marry and grow a family, obtain affordable health care and work free from punitive discrimination in the workplace. This country needs a justice like Ruth Bader Ginsburg who championed these fundamental rights, not someone who will turn the clock back on progress.”

About Family Equality

Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.

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