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Post-Roe marriage equality threat highlighted in congressional hearing

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Marriage equality advocates during a congressional hearing Thursday raised fears that the right for same-sex couples to marry could be in peril in the wake of the U.S.

Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. LGBTQ activists delivered testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in a hearing titled, “What’s Next: The Threat to Individual Freedoms in a Post-Roe World,” putting the rights for same-sex couples to marry on par with abortion rights targeted by social conservatives in a 50-year effort.

Jim Obergefell, who was the lead plaintiff of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision that led the Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage equality nationwide in 2015, gave deeply personal testimony about his efforts in securing state recognition of his marriage to his late spouse, who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease, as he made the plea to keep protection in courts. “No couple, no family, should be forced to go to great financial expense and legal effort to gain a pale approximation of the rights and protections that come automatically with marriage,” Obergefell said. “That is not marriage, and it sets our relationships and families apart as something less worthy.” The hearing was wide-ranging in the issues seen at play in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision, including marriage, contraception and intimacy for same-sex couples, which were called into question after Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurrence decision that granting those rights should be reevaluated.

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