LGBTQ Advocates Celebrate Kennedy's Legacy, But Fear What's Next - NBC Southern California
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LGBTQ Advocates Celebrate Kennedy's Legacy, But Fear What's Next

“In each of these cases, he emphasized the dignitary harm that discrimination against LGBT people does,” a former clerk of Kennedy's said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Is Retiring

    Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire July 31. Kennedy was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. (Published Wednesday, June 27, 2018)

    Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in every landmark Supreme Court case that advanced gay rights in his more than three decades on the court.  And while LGBTQ advocates celebrate his legacy, there remains fear for what the future will hold with him off the court, NBC News reported

    One the most notable of such cases was Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage across the United States in June 2015. Now, nearly three years to the day after that ruling, he announced Wednesday that he will retire from the court at the end of July. 

    Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in other cases, like Romer v. Evans that struck down Amendment 2 of the Colorado Constitution, which barred local governments from recognizing gay men and lesbians as a protected class. He also wrote the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas which struck down Texas' anti-sodomy law, and thus all remaining anti-sodomy laws across the country, effectively legalizing consensual homosexual activity across the U.S.

    “In each of these cases, he emphasized the dignitary harm that discrimination against LGBT people does,” said Michael C. Dorf, a former clerk of Kennedy's.

    Matt Slocum/AP; Scott J. Ferrell/CQ via Getty Images; Julian Velasco via University of Notre Dame; Abdul El-Tayef/WPPi.com