Admittedly, this isn't an episode we planned to record. The loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has affected millions of people. She dedicated her life to fighting for gender equality, including issues related to the LGBTQ case.
Most people don't realize how important the south has been in the fight for queer legal equality. Here are some of the key southern cases that pushed LGBTQ rights forward, and in each of these cases, Justice Ginsburg voted to extend constitutional rights rather than restrict them:
Lawrence v. Texas (2003), A Houston case that struck down anti-sodomy laws. This case made it illegal for states to ban private sexual conduct between two consenting adults. This case overturned a previous southern case called Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) that allowed states to ban homosexual sodomy.
Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the historic case that extended the right to marry to same sex couples. This case was actually a consolidated one of four separate lawsuits, two of which were southern, coming from Kentucky and Tennessee.
Bostock v. Clayton County (2020) - One of the most recent legal cases about queer rights. Just this summer the Court extended some workplace protections to LGBTQ employees, saying that you cannot be fired for being gay. This Georgia case was consolidated with another case.
Really, I can go on and on about the cases, but we must remember the big picture. Justice Ginsburg didn't have to fight for equality, but she chose to. She made it her legacy to ensure that the Constitution applied to marginalized groups, despite the efforts of many elected leaders. In future episodes we hope to spotlight queer activists, lawyers, educators, and change makers that carry on RBG's legacy.
Give the episode a listen here
Photo credit to: https://unsplash.com/@gmalhotra