Pegged as incitement by critics, a warning was sent by the Democrat about how gay rights could be next after a leaked draft opinion signaled a crackdown on abortion access.
“To my friends in the LGBTQ+ community — the Supreme Court is coming for us next. This moment has to be a call to arms,” Lightfoot said in a brief and now viral Twitter thread. “We will not surrender our rights without a fight — a fight to victory!” Lightfoot added.
We will not surrender our rights without a fight—a fight to victory!
— Lori Lightfoot (@LoriLightfoot) May 10, 2022
Lightfoot was elected Chicago’s first black gay woman mayor in 2019. She marked the occasion by kissing her wife, Amy Eshleman.
Earlier in the day, Lightfoot announced a $500,000 investment in the Chicago Department of Public Health to support abortion access for women, according to FOX 32 Chicago, and the mayor said a host of different rights, beyond those associated with abortion, are at risk. “This includes women’s rights, trans rights, immigrant rights and of course the right to same sex and interracial marriage. We simply cannot stand idly by and let that happen,” she said.
Lightfoot apparently issued a similar “call to arms” message during that appearance, and was asked to explain it during an interview on MSNBC.
“I think everybody who saw that draft opinion has gone through a range of different emotions,” Lightfoot said. “But we can’t just be angry. We’ve got to be intentional, we’ve got to be dedicated. And that’s why I’m calling upon fellow elected officials across the country, and particularly my fellow mayors to join me in making a pledge that we made today, which is a ‘Justice For All Pledge.’ And fundamentally, it reaffirms Chicago as a welcoming city, a city that doesn’t discriminate, and a city that’s going to stand with women.”
The opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade is not final, and votes among the justices might change before a ruling is dealt in the coming months. Still, the leak one week ago has mobilized protesters on both sides of the abortion debate. On Monday, the White House warned against violence as protesters gathered outside the homes of Supreme Court justices.
Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the draft opinion, wrote that the Supreme Court believes “Roe and Casey must be overruled” and argued it “is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” Alito also wrote, “Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”
The leak prompted Chief Justice John Roberts to order an investigation by the marshal of the court. In a statement, the court confirmed the draft that was leaked is “authentic” but stressed it does “not represent a decision by the Court.”