Is Obergefell v. Hodges next to be overturned?


Editorial Board

In 2015, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) legalized same-sex marriage, but the restrictions could return in most states if the court decides, as it did with abortion, that such marriage is not constitutionally protected. Obergefell v. Hodges ruled all state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage were voided in 2015. In the event the republican majority SCOTUS overturns the right to same-sex marriage, those state laws and constitutional amendments would possibly take effect. 

In a concurring opinion to the Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas said that SCOTUS, having now upended nearly 50 years of established abortion rights in the U.S., should also “reconsider” all of the Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell. In case those names sound unfamiliar to you: Griswold v. Connecticut was a case that protects the right to contraceptives in 1965 and Lawrence v. Texas ruled that criminal punishment for sodomy between consenting adults was unconstitutional in 2003.

Prior to Obergefell, some states explicitly legalized same-sex marriage but most had some sort of ban in place, either through the state constitution and/or state law. Unless states change what is on their books, same-sex marriage would become illegal in at least 25 states, including Texas, if Obergefell were to be overturned. According to the 2022 Republican Party of Texas Platform, they reveal their old-fashioned views on marriage by stating marriage should be between a “natural man and a natural woman.” What would it mean if Obergefell v. Hodges was overturned? Unfortunately, no one knows. A possibility would be that current same-sex marriages may be grandfathered in and bar people from entering into new same-sex marriages. Also, same-sex couples might be denied the rights to property, inheritance and adoption. 

Now living in a post-Roe era with midterm elections around the corner, everything is up in the air. Especially in Texas, it is crucial to vote and urge lawmakers to change their old mindsets, and protect the rights of same-sex couples to prevent us from living in a post-Obergefell world. Without changes made to our state constitution and laws, Texas will become a state that will not allow you to marry the person you truly love. If Obergefell is overturned, there is no stopping SCOTUS from attacking the Griswold and Lawrence decisions along with it.

Register to vote online at The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 11, and Oct. 28 if registering by mail. Early voting begins Oct. 24 until Nov. 4. The Texas General Election begins Nov. 8.