A rally urging the Supreme Court to find Title VII protects LGBTQ people from discrimination – Photo: GLAAD
A group of gay Trump supporters has criticized a recent Supreme Court decision that protects them against employment discrimination nationwide.
LGBTrump, formerly known as Gays for Trump, said the court’s landmark ruling this week –which affirmed that the Civil Rights Act protects workers against discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity — undermines democracy.
“This decision is a political win but a win attained by directly undermining the separation of powers and our democratic system of government,” Joseph R. Murray, II, civil rights attorney and founder of LGBTrump, said in a statement. “If anyone believes that [former President Lyndon B. Johnson] thought he was protecting the employment of the LGBT community when he put pen to paper, I have a bridge up in Brooklyn.”
In particular, Murray took issue with the court’s decision that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination applies to sexuality and gender identity.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the decision for the majority, noted, “Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result…. But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands.”
Murray argued that such limits are the reason why Title VII should not have been expanded, and, presumably, why he should not now be protected against discrimination in employment.
“Make no mistake; I am all for the protection of LGBT Americans in the workplace but not at the expense of our democratic process,” Murray said. “By taking a legislative role and amending Title VII, the Supreme Court took Congress, especially Democratic lawmakers, off the hook. Democrats are always claiming to be the party of the LGBT community, but, just like with marriage equality, Congressional Democrats let the Supreme Court do all the heavy lifting.”
Murray failed to note that Congressional Democrats have introduced the Equality Act in both chambers of Congress — and passed it last year in the House of Representatives — but have met resistance from Senate Republicans.
If passed, the bill would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system.
Murray concluded by saying that judicial activism has “produced some of the nation’s most nightmarish decisions and, frankly, is a two-way street.”
“While some might be celebrating today, there is always a chance a decision might come down that will have you crying tomorrow,” he said. “You can fire your Congressman, but you are stuck with your Justice.”
Supreme Court Justices are appointed to lifetime tenures, and are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
The court currently has a conservative majority, after Donald Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
After Trump’s inauguration in 2017, Murray argued that concerns about his presidency and its potential impact on LGBTQ people were “not based upon…reality.”
“I think you have some LGBT folks who are reading and listening to some of this coverage, and becoming genuinely concerned,” he told Metro Weekly at the time. “And that concern is not based upon what I would call reality, it’s based upon a media narrative that’s being cultivated.”
The Trump administration has since repeatedly attacked LGBTQ rights, including this month revoking health care protections for transgender people during a global pandemic.
Trump’s administration has also previously argued that it should be legal to fire LGBTQ people, said that foster care agencies should be allowed to discriminate against gay couples, and banned transgender people from serving openly in the military.
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