Today, HRC released a comprehensive report on how Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court poses a serious threat to millions of LGBTQ people. HRC is urging the Senate Judiciary Committee not to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination without a full review of his record and time in the White House -- and urging the full Senate to reject his nomination on the basis of his anti-LGBTQ record and other concerning decisions.
Kavanaugh has a troublingly lengthy, far-right pedigree, and he was hand-picked by anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice groups in an explicit effort to undermine equality. His record includes decisions that will undermine LGBTQ equality, reproductive freedom and vital access to affordable health care. His most vocal supporters recognize this opportunity and have not been shy to applaud Trump’s choice; these supporters including the National Rifle Association, Breitbart News, Focus on the Family, National Organization for Marriage, and National Right to Life Committee.
Still, there is much more detail about Kavanaugh’s public record on LGBTQ issues remains needlessly cloaked from public review. The years of 2001 to 2006, when Kavanaugh served in the Bush White House, was an especially consequential period for the LGBTQ rights and marriage equality movement. This era included the Lawrence v. Texas decision, multiple pronouncements by President Bush about the institution of marriage and marriage-related amendments to the federal Constitution, and civil rights litigation and referenda at the state and circuit levels. Given the central function of the White House Staff Secretary, it is likely that Kavanaugh participated in many of these politically consequential decisions -- and yet, without records, we know troublingly little about Kavanaugh’s position or role in these matters.
“Trump’s recent nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court is a direct threat to the constitutional rights of everyday Americans and for the LGBTQ community in particular,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Kavanaugh has a troublingly lengthy, far-right pedigree, and he was hand-picked by anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice groups in an explicit effort to undermine equality. This nomination threatens to erode our nation’s civil rights laws, block transgender troops from bravely serving this nation, and issue a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people in every aspect of American life. If confirmed, Kavanaugh will undoubtedly bring a dangerous brand of ideological partisanship that has no place on the Court.”
A thorough review of Kavanaugh’s record on LGBTQ issues, during his time at the White House in particular, will be crucial to the nomination process. That’s because, in the coming years, the Supreme Court will be asked to decide crucial issues for the LGBTQ community including:
• Whether our nation’s nondiscrimination laws include protections for LGBTQ people—as many lower courts have already concluded. This would impact employment, housing, healthcare, and education civil rights statutes.
• Whether individuals and organizations have a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people when receiving taxpayer dollars to provide critical services.
• Whether LGBTQ people and families can be turned away from businesses open to the general public, simply because of who they are or whom they love.
• Whether qualified transgender people can be excluded from serving in the military simply because of who they are.
The Human Rights Campaign stands with coalition partners in demanding the release of all records pertaining to Brett Kavanaugh’s long career in government and a fully-transparent confirmation process deserving of the consideration of the American people.