Since the announcement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, LGBTQ activists and advocates have expressed their deep concern about the community’s rights and protections being threatened by what will be a much more conservative successor.
Over the weekend, in an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Trump said he was “putting conservative people” on the high court, but “probably not” ask beforehand how those nominees might vote on specific issues.
What he didn’t say in his answer is he doesn’t have to ask. Trump has a pre-selected list of 25 candidates that have already been vetted by the ultra-conservative Federalist Society. It’s a foregone conclusion that all of them have been screened for far-right positions on the law.
While its unlikely that marriage equality would ever be overturned in a wholesale manner, what many legal experts say consider possible is the Supreme Court handing down ‘carve outs’ in rulings regarding ‘religious liberty’ that would allow for legalized discrimination of LGBTQ people.
This morning, hate group leader Tony Perkins, of the virulently anti-LGBTQ organization Family Research Council, made clear on Fox News exactly what his faction of conservatives are looking at in a new Supreme Court justice.
“Given the fact that the left wants to make this all about abortion – I think it’s much bigger, I think we have religious liberty, we’ve got freedom of speech, the First Amendment in the crosshairs of the left.
“But they want to make it about life and if I were the president, I’d say, ‘Game on. I’m going to pick someone that’s beyond reproach.’ I think this supercharges the president’s base to get behind him in his pick and I think that spills over into the midterm election.”
Even though Trump falsely campaigned on the premise he would be an “LGBT ally,” his actions since taking office have demonstrated exactly the opposite.
Buzzfeed’s Dominic Holden has compiled a list of the many ways the Trump administration has worked against the LGBTQ community including:
• Reversed a federal policy that said transgender workers were protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
• Argued that its legal to fire LGBTQ employees for being
• Supported Colorado baker Jack Phillips at the Supreme Court for turning away gay customers
• Withdrawn guidance that said Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 bans anti-transgender discrimination in federally funded schools
• Proposed banning transgender service members in the U.S. military
• Declined to appoint an LGBTQ liaison for the White House that would help communication between the administration and LGBTQ organizations and advocates
This is clearly a time that we, as a community, have to stay woke. We have to stay vigilant. We have to be involved.
And most importantly, we have to vote.