What a Justice Neil Gorsuch would mean for LGBTQ Americans

Tonight, President Donald Trump announced his nomination – Neil Gorsuch – for the U.S. Supreme Court seat made vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year. If confirmed, this nominee would place the safety, progress, and overall well-being of the LGBTQ community in jeopardy. Federal workplace protections, access to healthcare, and even marriage equality could be at risk if Gorsuch were to be confirmed as the next Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Neil Gorsuch’s harmful history of discrimination against the LGBTQ community renders him completely unfit to sit on the highest court in the land,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. “He has record of advocating for anti-LGBTQ rhetoric or supporting candidates that are in favor of open discrimination against people and families who simply want to be treated the same as everyone else. Gorsuch’s presence on the Supreme Court will affect the law of the land for generations to come – long after Trump is out of office, and will turn back the clock on equality and acceptance.”

This nomination is just the latest attack on LGBTQ equality and acceptance by the Trump Administration. In just two short weeks, the Administration has hired the lawyer who defended North Carolina’s HB2 to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, failed to include any policy stances or language regarding the LGBTQ community on official government webpages, and proceeded with the nominations and confirmations of one of the most anti-LGBTQ cabinets in recent memory.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: What a Justice Neil Gorsuch Would Mean for LGBTQ Americans

  • Has argued that certain minority civil rights issues, like marriage equality, should be settled through elections or legislatures, not the courts.
  • In lower court decisions in the famous Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor cases, Gorsuch signaled willingness to allow religious employers to use their personal beliefs to sidestep federal law.
  • SCOTUSBlog describes him as “an ardent defender of religious liberties and pluralistic accommodations for religious adherents” and “a natural successor to Scalia in adopting a pro-religion conception of the establishment clause.”
  • As Columbia student in mid ’80s, defended keeping military recruiters on campus despite the military’s discriminatory stance on LGBTQ soldiers.