The People Actually Responsible for This Week’s Historic LGBTQ Victory
Obama had a lot to do with it, for one
It was spectacular seeing conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch hand a stunning victory on Monday to the LGBTQ community. He was joined, no less, by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, in addition to the court’s four liberals, making it a 6–3 decision that, indeed, LGBTQ people are protected against employment discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The decision dropped a bomb on President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Anti-LGBTQ religious zealots in his base became outraged and demoralized as Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court appointment, rejected Trump’s own Justice Department’s arguments in a thunderous rebuke.
But it’s important to keep in mind how this landmark decision further underscores the stakes in the upcoming election.
Gorsuch, despite this ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, is no friend to LGBTQ equality and will likely bring heartache down the line. And Roberts, who read his blistering dissent from the bench in 2015’s Obergefell marriage equality decision, can’t be trusted, no matter the detour he made here. It’s vital that the court be kept from lurching further to the right — and that means electing a Democratic president.
Though it doesn’t seem it on the surface, President Barack Obama is actually responsible for what happened this week. And returning a Democrat to the White House will continue the progress.
Let’s start with Gorsuch. He’s a “religious liberty” fanatic, a justice who believes religious conservatives should be given exemptions when it comes to discrimination. In 2013, while on the 10th Circuit Court of appeals, he wrote a concurring opinion in the infamous Hobby Lobby case, which the Supreme Court ultimately upheld, allowing the arts and crafts chain to opt out of certain kinds of contraception in the Affordable Care Act based on the owners’ religious beliefs.
Gorsuch has written in the past that issues such as gay marriage should be left to the states. And in a provocative dissenting opinion in which the Supreme Court in 2017 rejected Arkansas’ attempt to keep the names of both parents of same-sex married couples…