PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some gay couples are now rushing to the alter, citing last week’s Election results as the reason why.
“We were excited to have a big day and make it official,” says Lee Singletary.
He got engaged to his boyfriend of two years, Nathan, back in August. They planned to tie the knot in the fall of 2018, but after Donald Trump got elected President, he says they are expediting their nuptials.
“We went from a position of excitement to one of surprise and in all honesty, we are scared about it,” he says.
Singletary says it’s not Trump, but VP-elect Mike Pence’s stance against gay marriage and signing of the religious freedom law in Indiana that have many in the LGBT community on edge.
“People have just been calling, emailing,” says Angela Giampolo, an attorney who specializes in LGBT discrimination. She says she’s seen a spike in queries about LGBT rights since the election. While she’s confident marriage equality will remain good law, Giampolo says she is nervous about other LGBT rights based on current court precedent.
“You have a recipe for effectively allowing discrimination against the LGBTQ community nationwide,” she says, referring to Hobby Lobby and other cases.
She says marriage equality will likely remain good precedent even after President-elect Donald Trump nominates a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the US Supreme Court. Giampolo believes the status could change if other justices were to retire, thus changing the direction of the court.
“Marriage is the strongest thing we have,” says Giampolo, “but like Roe v Wade, it could end up on the chopping block.”
In the meantime, her advice to couples rushing down the aisle: protect yourself with a pre-nup just in case the marriage does not work out.
Giampolo will be running a free legal clinic at CHOP this Saturday.