Comedian and actor Billy Eichner—best known as the star of the shows Billy on the Street and Difficult People—took the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards to criticize “all the homophobes on the Supreme Court” while plugging his movie Bros, an upcoming gay romantic comedy.
Eichner took particular aim at Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Thomas wrote a solo concurring opinion in which he advocated overturning rulings like Obergefell v. Hodges—which made marriage equality for LGBTQ+ people the law of the land—in the ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization which struck down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that once protected a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
Eichner suggested not even the threat of seeing established LGBTQ+ rights overturned would stop him and other filmmakers from creating "gay love stories" for the screen.
You can hear what Eichner said in the video below.
“Bros is making history as the first gay rom-com ever made by a major studio, and the first where every role is played by an openly LGBTQ actor."
“And I need you all there in theatres on 30 September because we need to show all the homophobes like Clarence Thomas and all the homophobes on the Supreme Court that we want gay love stories."
“And we support LGBTQ people and we are not letting them drag us back into the last century.”
Eichner was praised for speaking out.
The decision on Dobbs, which hinged on a right to privacy that while not explicitly granted in the United States Constitution was nonetheless previously accepted as settled law per the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment—which grants all citizens “equal protection." Thomas suggested other Supreme Court rulings—such as those regarding contraception, non-heterosexual sex and same-sex marriage—are now in doubt.
Thomas suggested in a solo concurring opinion that established LGBTQ+ rights—Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges—and contraception rights—Griswold v. Connecticut—should be reconsidered now that the federal right to reproductive freedom has been revoked, calling them "demonstrably erroneous" and calling on the Court to "correct the error."
It is worth noting nowhere in his concurring opinion did Thomas mention Loving v. Virginia, a landmark civil rights decision in which the Court ruled laws banning interracial marriage violate the Fourteenth Amendment. Thomas, who is Black, is married to Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a hardline conservative activist who happens to be White.
Shortly after Thomas signaled the Court should reconsider LGBTQ+ marriage equality, the House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act—a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and require the federal government to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages in the United States.
47 House Republicans supported the measure.
The Senate will soon take the measure up for a vote, where it will need the support of 10 Republicans to meet the required 60 votes before it can be enshrined into law.