President-elect Donald Trump selected Ken Blackwell, a former Ohio secretary of state who ran for governor in 2006 and was crushed by a nearly 34 point margin, to lead up domestic policy for his presidential transition team. Blackwell is also a senior fellow with the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center designated a hate group because of its anti-LGBT positions.
Blackwell is not exactly shy about his anti-LGBT stance. Indeed, as The Guardian’s Scott Bixby notes, Blackwell claimed during his gubernatorial bid that homosexuality is a “choice” that “can be changed.”
“Homosexuality is a lifestyle, it’s a choice, and that lifestyle can be changed.” – Trump transition team's head of domestic policy pic.twitter.com/SfMcV8qtIb
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) November 10, 2016
Blackwell’s position puts him at odds with, among other things, the Supreme Court of the United States, which said in its marriage equality decision Obergefell v. Hodges that sexual orientation is an “immutable nature,” and that “psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.”
But, of course, it may not matter much what the Court said in Obergefell after Trump is done remaking the Court. Obergefell was a 5–4 decision, and three of the justices who joined that decision, Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Breyer, are quite elderly. Meanwhile, both Trump’s decision to associate with Blackwell and previous promises by Vice President-elect Mike Pence suggest that Trump’s Supreme Court appointees will be decidedly anti-LGBT.
If just one of the justices in the Obergefell majority leave the Court, marriage equality may not have long to live in the United States.