LGBTQ+ Organizations Brace for SCOTUS Setbacks
The Supreme Court confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett has put a number of LGBTQ organizations and advocates on high alert. According to a report by the Human Rights Campaign, the biggest LGBTQ organization in the United States, Judge Barrett’s record on LGBTQ issues indicates that her confirmation poses “a direct threat to the constitutional rights of LGBTQ community and all Americans.” And upcoming court rulings covering religious rights to discriminate against LGBTQ+ could mean that the overturning of civil rights could begin as early as next week.
C.P. Hoffman, legal director of FreeState Justice, a nonprofit organization in Baltimore, Maryland, that provides free legal aid to low-income LGBTQ populations, told ZORA that Barrett’s confirmation could leave the door open for rolling back anti-discrimination laws and health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act and potentially striking down marriage equality.
The most immediate concern is the upcoming Fulton v. City of Philadelphia ruling, a case that will decide whether faith-based child welfare agencies can refuse to work with LGBTQ people, which will take place on November 4. “There’s a fear that a conservative court could find that people’s right to freedom of religion includes the ability to discriminate against individuals in the queer community,” Hoffman said. The ruling will decide whether religious liberty trumps protection from discrimination and could result in “broad religious exemptions to nondiscrimination law.”
“Queer folk are much more likely to be lower income or poor… so we need to be worried about this Obamacare suit, because it could restrict access to health care for many low- and medium-income LGBTQ folks.”
Barrett’s ties to the conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which has consistently argued for an expansive view on religious freedom, could be an indication that the judge sees the expansion of religious rights favorably. The Fulton ruling could have far-reaching implications, possibly overturning existing anti-discrimination…