Gay rights could be under threat now that Donald Trump has been elected President.
Gay rights, such as same-sex marriage could be under threat now that Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States. It all depends on who he chooses to appoint as a new Supreme Court Justice. There is currently one vacancy on the bench after the extremely conservative Antonin Scalia died in February.
The Supreme Court, which makes rulings on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion, has nine judges and they are appointed by the President. They are only replaced when they die, decide to retire or a impeached for wrong-doing.
As it stands the judges are balanced between liberal and conservative politics. However, two liberal judges, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 83, and Stephen Breyer, 78, may choose to retire soon which would leave Donald Trump able to replace those with more conservative judges meaning that the political skew of the Supreme Court would be conservative rather than liberal.
When same-sex marriage was legalised across all 50 states the vote was made 5 to 4. The four Justices who voted against the decision (Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito) were all conservative leaning judges.
Democrats do have the ability to block a judge’s appointment using a filibuster in the Senate.
Activists and rights campaigners are concerned that Mr Trump will look to overturn the gay marriage ruling made in 2015, something he said he would “consider” doing in an interview with Fox News.