Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in every landmark Supreme Court case that advanced gay rights in his more than three decades on the court. And while LGBTQ advocates celebrate his legacy, there remains fear for what the future will hold with him off the court, NBC News reported.
One the most notable of such cases was Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage across the United States in June 2015. Now, nearly three years to the day after that ruling, he announced Wednesday that he will retire from the court at the end of July.
Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in other cases, like Romer v. Evans that struck down Amendment 2 of the Colorado Constitution, which barred local governments from recognizing gay men and lesbians as a protected class. He also wrote the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas which struck down Texas' anti-sodomy law, and thus all remaining anti-sodomy laws across the country, effectively legalizing consensual homosexual activity across the U.S.
“In each of these cases, he emphasized the dignitary harm that discrimination against LGBT people does,” said Michael C. Dorf, a former clerk of Kennedy's.