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LGBTQ elders afraid of what could happen if same-sex marriage is outlawed

Last week, the U.S. House approved legislation to protect same-sex marriage amid concerns the Supreme Court could overturn it. All four Arizona Republicans voted against the measure. One LGBTQ elder shared about her reaction.

Lavina Tomer is a board member with Southern Arizona Senior Pride, an LGBTQ-elder advocacy group.

"It’s a scary, anxiety promoting time and it's also, I can describe it as traumatizing," she said.

She’s talking about when  Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said the Supreme Court was “clearly wrong” when it legalized same-sex marriage. And before that, it was  Justice Clarence Thomas who wrote that it should be reconsidered after the court overturned Roe v. Wade. 

"I mean, what are they expecting? That all of the marriages that have been legally sanctioned will dissolve? Or do we all get grandfathered in, so to speak, and then from now on, people can't get married? I don't know. We're kind of on the edge: What is going to happen?" Tomer said. 

Tomer says that while only about 35% of LGBTQ people are legally married, this issue is about having the choice to marry. But for those who are married, there are very big implications in terms of health care, children, taxes and other financial implications. 

"The whole situation seems nightmarish and surreal, because we worked so hard to get where were we are," she said. 

Senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.