When The Husband and I decided to sell almost everything we own and move abroad, we did so because we wanted a more exciting, diverse, and engaging future than we were likely to have by remaining in the U.S. Not because we felt unwelcome here.
The decision the U.S. Supreme Court released yesterday overturning a Roe v Wade has changed that. We will still leave the U.S. seeking excitement, diversity, and engagement, but we will also leave with the knowledge that our quality of life if we remain in the U.S. is now under threat.
It's under threat because the same logic that appealed enough to six supreme court justices that they threw out 50 years of legal precedent to overturn Roe v Wade could also be used to overturn previous Supreme Court decisions that did away with laws against sodomy and allowed the recognition of same-sex marriages.
Judge Clarence Thomas, arguably the court’s most conservative justice, appeared to look forward to the opportunity to do just that. Writing in his concurring opinion to the Roe decision, Thomas wrote:
“[I]n future cases, we should reconsider all this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. Because any subsubstantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ [and] we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
Lawrence overturned the laws against sodomy previously used to ostracize and persecute gay men and lesbians. The Obergefell decision meant couples like us could obtain the same privileges of marriage long claimed by heterosexual couples.
So, faced with the prospect of living in a country where our lives may be re-criminalized and our marriages denied, we choose to live elsewhere, joining that long parade of Americans who, from the time of the American Revolution forward, decided to move overseas rather than remain under oppression at home. Many of the folks have been studied by The Center for the Study of American Exile and Expatriation (CSAEE), whose website can be found here