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Lawyer Who Argued Marriage Equality in SCOTUS Has Dire Warning About Trump's Threat to LGBTQ Rights

Lawyer Who Argued Marriage Equality in SCOTUS Has Dire Warning About Trump's Threat to LGBTQ Rights
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

After a 2016 campaign marred by violence, racism, and bigotry, former President Donald Trump's unexpected ascent to the White House sent a foreboding message to marginalized Americans across the country.

LGBTQ people worried that Trump would roll back the protections gained by the movement over the preceding decade—such as LGBTQ anti-discrimination causes in the Affordable Care Act, the nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage, and the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Trump frequently claimed to be the most pro-LGBTQ Republican presidential nominee, expressing apathy toward marriage equality rather than blunt opposition and holding a rainbow flag (upside down) on a rally stage.

Dan Canon, one of the lawyers who argued for marriage equality in the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case published an op-ed just days after Trump was declared the winner of the 2016 election. Canon assured LGBTQ people that wouldn't their "worst nightmares" were "unlikely to come true," and especially emphasized that Trump couldn't unilaterally ban same-sex marriage.

But marriage equality is but one issue effecting the lives of LGBTQ people. Soon, the Trump administration announced a ban on transgender people serving in the Military, against the findings of Pentagon officials. Trump also worked to further enshrine so-called "religious freedom" to bolster protections for public businesses and even medical professionals to refuse service to LGBTQ people. Trump's allies continue to pain trans people as mentally ill predators in their pursuit of bathroom bans and other asinine crusades against them.

And because then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell successfully blocked swathes of Obama's judicial appointments, Trump was able to somewhat transform the country's courtships, appointing three Supreme Court Justices and more than 200 judges to federal courts across the nation—many of whom will all but certainly rule against LGBT rights.

Already, Texas—which already openly violated the Constitution with its recent anti-abortion law—has taken steps to ban same sex marriage in the state. Texas Representative James White sent a letter to far-right Attorney General Ken Paxton seeking Paxton's opinion on the legality of marriage equality. White emphasized that Texas' constitution defines marriage as one man and one woman, and that Texas did not change these laws in response to Obergefell v. Hodges.

This has prompted Canon to reverse the sentiments in his 2016 op-ed and warn conservative courts will work to strip away LGBTQ rights.

Canon even suggested that LGBTQ people in deep red states should move, for their own protection.

The bleak picture generated a wealth of reactions on Twitter.

Numerous LGBTQ people expressed fear for what's to come.

Paxton has yet to release his opinion on White's claims about the state of same sex marriage in Texas.