On Monday November 23, Indiana attorney general Curtis Hill asked the US Supreme Court to consider stripping same-sex couples of their equal parenting rights, with nine justices holding a conference on December 11 to decide whether to challenge LGBTQ+ parents. According to Slate, Hill claimed his stance is based on the ‘right to acknowledge biological distinction between males and females’, and the notion that same-sex couples do not always have ‘biological connections’ to their child.
He filed a petition urging the court to review a previous ruling which found that state’s refusal to list both same-sex parents on their child’s birth certificate is unconstitutional. Conflict around the rights of same-sex parents has been ongoing in Indiana since 2014, when the Tippecanoe County Health Department refused to let a lesbian couple have both of their names on a birth certificate for their newborn child.
The challenge to LGBTQ+ parenting rights comes shortly after associate justice, Samuel Alito, attacked LGBTQ+ marriage equality in a speech addressing the far-right Federalist Society group. He suggested marriage equality is at odds with the rights of non-LGBTQ+ groups, saying it is an attack on ‘freedom of speech’. Fellow justice, Clarence Thomas, shared this view on the grounds marriage equality ‘deducts from religious freedom’.
2020 has also seen Amy Coney Barrett being appointed to the Supreme Court despite her controversial views on the LGBTQ+ community. She is known to have been a trustee of a group of three private schools where queer teachers or children of LGBTQ+ couples were not welcome. In addition, her Christian faith group, People of Praise, has been known to expel LGBTQ+ members. Many queer Americans have been left fearful for their rights, with one saying the recent chain of events pose “a grave threat to previous Supreme Court decisions that now could be reversed [such as] Marriage equality, abortion and the Affordable Care Act.”