Guest post by Shannon Minter of National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Dear Equality Federation Friends,

In response to some inquiries from people who are afraid their marriages might be invalidated, we drafted this brief explanation:

There is no realistic possibility that anyone’s marriage will be invalidated.  The law is very strong that if a marriage is valid when entered, it cannot be invalidated by any subsequent change in the law. So people who are already married should not be concerned that their marriages can be taken away. To the contrary, it is important that they continue to live their lives as married couples.    

Looking forward for individuals who are not currently married but who may wish to marry in the future, we also think it is highly unlikely that the fundamental right of same-sex couples to marry will be challenged or that the Supreme Court would revisit its 2015 holding that same-sex couples have that fundamental right. The doctrine of stare decisis—which means that courts generally will respect and follow their own prior rulings—is also very strong, and the Supreme Court very rarely overturns an important constitutional ruling so soon after issuing it. In addition, while the new administration is very conservative, neither Donald Trump nor anyone associated with his campaign has indicated any serious or immediate intention to try to turn back the clock on the freedom to marry, and the great majority of Americans now strongly support marriage equality. 

Shannon Minter
Legal Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights

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