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Monday, June 27, 2022

NJ LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Lawyer, Gay Rights in Jeopardy Because of Supreme Court Ruling

Gay rights activists have concerns that the nineteen-year-old established legal precedent of the right to same-sex sexual relationships as set by ruling of the US Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas may be overturned by the Court. This concern in the gay and lesbian community has recently arisen as a result of the US Supreme Court Opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Dobbs Opinion overturns the almost 50-year-old precedent of Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, which was decided January 22, 1973.

The cause for concern arises out of the language in the final Dobbs decision issued June 24, 2022. The language references Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558 (2003) (right to engage in private, consensual sexual acts); Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U. S. 644 (2015) (right to same-sex marriage); Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U. S. 479 (1965) (right of married persons to obtain contraceptives)

Justice Wrote the US Supreme Court Cases Giving Legal Right to Engage in Same Sex Sexual Acts, Right to Same Sex Marriage, and Right for Contraceptives, Were Erroneously Decided

One Justice voting with the majority to overturn Roe v. Wade stated that there is no Constitutional right to an abortion. He further stated in his written opinion that he thought the Court’s prior cases which had legalized same sex relationships, legalized same sex marriage, and legalized contraception were “demonstrably erroneous decisions”. 

He wrote that “substantive due process” is an oxymoron that lacks any Constitutional basis.

“As I have previously explained, “substantive due process” is an oxymoron that lacks any basis in the Constitution. For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is “demonstrably erroneous...

For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any substantive due process decision is “demonstrably erroneous.”

The United States Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas 539 U.S. 558 (2003) overturned Bowers v. Hardwick 478 U.S. 186 (1986). The legal precedent set by Lawrence v. Texas, which had to be followed by the states, expanded the rights of personal freedom, autonomy and choice to engage in sexual conduct with persons of the same sex. It invalidated a law making it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in sexual conduct.  

The Dobbs Opinion presents an analysis purporting that it has a history of overturning precedents. The Opinion contains explanations attempting to demonstrate that it is not unusual for the Court to overturn long-standing precedents. But unlike the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, in almost all the cases cited to in the US Supreme Court Dobbs Opinion, that were cases which the Court had overturned, the cases were overturned for the purpose of expanding individual rights and an individual’s personal freedoms, giving people more legal rights and personal autonomy free of government restrictions on their personal autonomy.

The Dobbs opinion for instance references the Lawrence v. Texas (2003) case among other cases as an example that it has in the past overturned precedents. This 2003 case on the right to privacy and personal autonomy regarding one’s body was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that sanctions of criminal punishment for those who commit sodomy are unconstitutional.

Lawrence V. Texas Reaffirmed the Concept of a "Right to Privacy" Even Though "Right to Privacy" Is Not Explicitly Enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

The US Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas reaffirmed the concept of a "right to privacy" that earlier cases, such as Roe v. Wade, had found the U.S. Constitution provides to individuals, even though "right to privacy" is not explicitly enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. The Court based its ruling on the notions of personal autonomy to define one's own relationships and of the American tradition of non-interference with private sexual decisions between consenting adults.

Lawrence v. Texas paved the way for broader recognition of same-sex sexuality and same-sex relationships, and eventually same-sex marriage.

The Dobbs opinion also references Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965) as another example of its overturning precedents. A Connecticut statute made the use of contraceptives a criminal offense. The statute also criminalized the encouragement of birth control. Griswold v. Connecticut was a case brought by the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood, Griswold, against the state. Griswold v. Connecticut discussed the right to contraception among married persons. In Griswold, the US Supreme Court ruled that a state's ban on the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy.                      

While the Dobbs Opinion does not directly overturn gay and lesbian rights, there is a heightened concern whenever there is any legal restriction placed on rights that were previously granted, rights that were not explicitly enumerated in the U.S. Constitution, such as the right to privacy and of personal autonomy to define one's own relationships, and of course, American traditions of non-interference with private sexual decisions.

What You Can Do

I am an aggressive and compassionate employment law attorney who is experienced in successfully representing LGBTQ persons and others in protected classes who were discriminated against at work and was successful in recovering multiple six figure settlement moneys for them. If you are thinking of resigning, or think you will be fired, or have been fired, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in employment law. I am successful in bringing employee lawsuits against governmental entities and private employers and recovering money for victims of discrimination.

If You Quit Your Job, You May Lose Right to Prevail in a Lawsuit

In many instances of discrimination, if you quit your job, you may lose right to prevail in a lawsuit unless you first take certain legally required measures to preserve your job while you are still employed. If you are thinking of quitting, or think you will be fired, you should contact this office immediately for a free consultation to discuss your options in the safest way for you.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout New Jersey, including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris Counties with locations in southern, central, western and northern NJ to meet with clients.            

 


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