HRC Report: Gorsuch is Wrong for the LGBTQ Community and Supreme Court

by Nick Morrow

Washington -- Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, released a report detailing why President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States is troubling for the LGBTQ community. The LGBTQ and civil rights communities depend on the court to respect our nation’s civil rights and to interpret laws in ways that ensure our community full equality under the law. We must demand that every Supreme Court Justice commit to guaranteeing that the court recognizes LGBTQ people’s fundamental rights and basic equality.

“Judge Gorsuch has had a troubling record on LGBTQ issues throughout his career,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC legal director. “During his campaign, Donald Trump pledged to appoint a justice ‘in the mold of Antonin Scalia,’ and Gorsuch’s decisions and jurisprudence suggest he has kept that promise. The LGBTQ community has won important victories at the Supreme Court -- from Romer to Obergefell -- that affirm our rights and our liberties. We must ensure that those who serve on our highest court are willing to stand up for our community; Gorsuch has given us no indication that he will.”

The report details Gorsuch’s record, including the following:

  • In Druley v. Patton, Gorsuch forfeited the opportunity to recognize the Constitutional rights of a transgender woman who was incarcerated, refusing to recognize that denying her basic, consistent health care and placing her in an all-male housing facility constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
  • Gorsuch joined the opinion in Kastl v. Maricopa County Community College District , ruling against a transgender woman alleging employment discrimination under Title VII.
  • Gorsuch joined with the majority in Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sebelius recognizing corporations as persons capable of exercising religion under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
    • Although this decision dealt directly with access to reproductive care and contraception, this reasoning could be used by employers to deny LGBTQ people access to critical health care services.
  • Gorsuch believes the Supreme Court should declare the administrative law doctrine known as “Chevron deference” unconstitutional -- a move that would have a huge impact on the LGBTQ community by giving courts the power to decide policy and regulations.

For more information on Gorsuch’s record and why he is wrong for the LGBTQ community and wrong for the Supreme Court, read the HRC report here.

HRC opposes Judge Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. We have no reason to believe he will be an advocate for LGBTQ Americans, and we urge senators to vote “no.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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