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What the overturning of Roe v. Wade could mean for same-sex marriage rights

The case that allowed for the legalization of same-sex marriage was, in part, decided on the same right to privacy as Roe v. Wade.

SEATTLE — The repercussions of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe v. Wade could have an impact on the future of other landmark cases, according to law professors and congressional leaders. 

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in Pierce County Wednesday to discuss infrastructure jobs but also commented on the draft opinion when asked by the press. 

"This is an assault on privacy. Who knows what's next? Marriage equality?" Pelosi said. 

She is not alone in wondering what the possible overturning of Roe could mean for other Supreme Court cases that were decided on similar right to privacy clauses of the 14th amendment. 

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"The arguments made in the draft that was leaked put the entire queer community on notice, whether it was intentional or not," said Carmen Rivera, who serves as vice president of the board for the nonprofit Seattle Pride.

Rivera said she doesn't think that considering what an overturning of the Roe decision would mean for other cases, is overreaching. 

"People thought we were getting ahead of ourselves when we were afraid of Roe v Wade getting overturned five years ago. In 2016, this was a legitimate concern during the presidential election," Rivera said. 

"The question is, well how does this impact other cases, right?" said Sital Kalantry. 

Kalantry is a professor of human rights, comparative law and contract law at Seattle University and has done extensive research on reproductive rights. 

"This draft opinion essentially gutted the constitutional grounds in which Roe was based, which is the idea of privacy," Kalantry said. "Now that you've unearthed entire roots and the foundations of 30, 40 years of constitutional law, everything is up for grabs." 

She said that includes the case that allowed for the legalization of same-sex marriage, another landmark case that was, in part, decided on the same right to privacy. 

In the draft opinion, first posted by Politico late Monday, Justice Samuel Alito, who drafted the conservative opinion of the court, stated, "We emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right… Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion." 

It is an assertion that Rivera said she found difficult to believe. 

"This isn't just a women's rights issue. This is a human rights issue," Rivera said.

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