The Human Rights Campaign and Top LGBTQ Organizations Release Formal Letter of Opposition to Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination

by Nick Morrow

Today, the Human Rights Campaign released a formal letter to the full United States Senate in opposition to the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States. The letter, signed by 185 organizations, outlines her problematic and disturbingly anti-LGBTQ past writings, rhetoric and association with extremist groups. The letter urges each senator to vote “no” on her nomination.

“Too often, the LGBTQ community’s rights hinge on the Supreme Court,” said Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign. “From the freedom to be ourselves without fear of arrest to receiving protections from being fired from our jobs, from marriage equality to health care access, we rely on the Court to affirm our dignity and rights. We implore the Senate to reject Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination. If it does not, it is an endorsement of Judge Barrett’s prejudicial professional statements and deeply concerning allegiances, and an abdication of the Senate’s responsibility to protect the rights of all Americans. ”

The letter reads, in part,

“With all that is at stake for LGBTQ people, we urge you to take seriously your responsibility to ensure that the Supreme Court remains a forum that is genuinely open to all, committed to the principles of equality and justice for all, and a bulwark against tyranny, the scapegoating of vulnerable groups, and the abuse of public power.

“As Judge Barrett has acknowledged, she embraces a conservative judicial philosophy that aligns her with former Justice Scalia, one of the most conservative justices ever to sit on our nation’s high court, and one who consistently voted against LGBTQ people in every LGBTQ rights case decided by the Court during his tenure. Her presence on the Court would change the current balance of the Court dramatically, in ways that are highly likely to cause lasting harm to LGBTQ people and other vulnerable groups. We urge you to oppose Judge Barrett and vote no on her confirmation.”

The Human Rights Campaign also recently released a report on Amy Coney Barrett’s troubling record. To read the full report, click here.

Barrett has demonstrated hostility toward LGBTQ rights in her words and rulings. She defended the Supreme Court’s dissenters on the landmark marriage equality case of Obergefell v. Hodges, questioning the role of the court in deciding the case. She said Title IX protections do not extend to transgender Americans, claiming it’s a “strain on the text” to reach that interpretation. She misgendered transgender people, referring to transgender women as “physiological males,” while casting doubt on transgender rights. Barrett has also consistently demonstrated opposition to reproductive rights, calling Roe v. Wade an “erroneous decision.” She also refused to rehear a racial segregation case, raising significant concerns about her approach to Civil Rights law.

She has criticized the ruling which upheld the Affordable Care Act—which has helped millions attain quality, affordable health care—and expressed opinions that suggest she would strike down the law. Days after the election, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an argument in a case that could undermine this transformative piece of legislation, and with it the health care security of tens of millions of people, including a disproportionate number of LGBTQ people.

The day after Election Day, the Court will hear Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which considers whether governments must allow taxpayer-funded organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ people when providing critical services. A ruling hostile to equality in this case could have staggering consequences for American social safety net programs including services for veterans, people experiencing homelessness, runaway youth, refugees, and those needing emergency shelters and services.

Her hostility towards many of society’s most marginalized, victimized and vulnerable groups raises serious concerns about her ability to be impartial and fairly consider the rights of all who come before the Court, including LGBTQ people; therefore, the Human Rights Campaign opposes her nomination in the strongest terms and will work steadfastly against it.

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