“Securing a ‘Political Win’ Was More Important Than Safeguarding the Rights of Millions of Americans”
Judge Neil Gorsuch on Monday will be sworn is as Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Supreme Court. Republicans in the Senate confirmed the Colorado judge late Friday morning, after changing the 60 vote rule to a simple majority. The final vote was 54-45.
Gorsuch, given his history, is expected to be very bad for LGBT people’s civil rights, for women, and minorities, across a wide spectrum of issues.
Here’s how LGBT organizations are responding to today’s news:
GLAD Executive Director Janson Wu:
“Today, our message to Justice Gorsuch is this: you have accepted a serious responsibility. Your job is to ensure that our laws respect the rights of all Americans â€“ rights that are guaranteed and protected by our Constitution.
“Justice Gorsuchâ€™s confirmation doesnâ€™t change what we do here at GLAD: we will continue to use the law to fight for the rights of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV everywhere. And we will fight any and all attempts to turn back fundamental Constitutional rights, especially for the most vulnerable.
“And we have every right to expect our Supreme Court justices, like all judges, to take their responsibility seriously, and apply the law equally and fairly.
“From protections for people with HIV to queer youth, from transgender rights to marriage equality, from family protections to employment non-discrimination -we know that when our community stands together and makes the case, we win.
“And when we are before the Supreme Court again, we will argue what we know to be true: our U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection and liberty for all.”
PFLAGÂ Interim Executive Director Elizabeth Kohm:
“We remain concerned that Judge Gorsuch will now have a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. We thank our friend Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) for his heroic efforts to elevate Judge Gorsuchâ€™s longtime opposition to discrimination protections, which are so crucial to the wellbeing and safety of LGBTQ people and other similarly marginalized communities. PFLAGers everywhere will continue to educate about the real impact of decisions made in the judicial branch of government. Additionally, we will continue to participate in amicus briefs to the court to raise the unique and crucial family and ally voice by sharing the real stories of harm done to our LGBTQ loved ones.”
GLAADÂ president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis:Â
â€œRepublicans in the Senate just destroyed a steadfast American tradition for the purpose of confirming a person to the U.S. Supreme Court who will most certainly vote in opposition to the safety and well-being of the LGBTQ community and many marginalized groups for his entire career on the bench. With his history of siding against transgender Americans and arguing against marriage equality, Neil Gorsuch is yet another reprehensible pawn in the Trump Administrationâ€™s goal of erasing the LGBTQ community from the fabric of America.â€
National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.:
“To change the rules to ram through a Supreme Court nominee too extreme to garner 60 votes undermines the Senateâ€™s historical role as a deliberative body. And with todayâ€™s appointment, Senate Republicans have jeopardized the core constitutional rights of millions of Americans.
“As veterans of the marriage equality fight, we understand how profoundly Supreme Court rulings can affect our daily lives. Judge Gorsuchâ€™s record on some of our most fundamental constitutional freedomsâ€”such as the right to privacy, equality under the law, and access to reproductive health careâ€”is dangerous, troubling, and miles behind where we are today. We mustÂ not allow these critical freedoms to be lost or undone. In the wake of this disappointment, we join with millions of other Americans in renewing our commitment to a vision of this country and of our Constitution that looks forward, not back, and that promises freedom and equality for all.”
Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur:
“The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the vote to eliminate longstanding Senate filibuster rules place the civil rights of every LGBT American at risk.
“Gorsuchâ€™s opinion in the Hobby Lobby case embraced the use of religious exemptions, which opponents of LGBT equality across the country are attempting to use to gut hard-won LGBT civil rights protections. Gorsuchâ€™s legal philosophy is far to the right of most Americans who believe in a womanâ€™s right to vote or to reproductive freedom, a separation of church and state, equal protection, marriage equality for same-sex couples or civil rights protections for vulnerable communities. At a time when the LGBT community is facing a wave of laws across the country making it permissible to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds, the stakes are higher than ever.
“In addition, with their invocation yesterday of the so-called â€˜nuclear optionâ€™ to eliminate filibuster rules that have provided important limits on partisan extremism, Senate Republicans have sacrificed bipartisanship and the checks and balances on which our country was founded. Republican leaders have done away with a 200-year-old Senate institution to place a jurist on the Court who could not win sufficient votes to meet the Senateâ€™s historic standard of 60 votes for confirmation because of his extreme views. We are especially disappointed in moderate and purple-state GOP senators who helped undermine our democracy and LGBT civil rights with their vote, in blind allegiance to Donald Trumpâ€™s agenda. These include Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and we plan to work with colleague organizations to hold them accountable to the best of our ability. This is a sad day for the LGBT community and for our country.”
Lambda LegalÂ Director of StrategyÂ Sharon McGowan:
“The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it does not bend itself.
“When Judge Gorsuch was nominated in January, many people predicted that he would easily secure the 60 votes necessary for confirmation. We dispelled the #AlternativeFacts being peddled about Judge Gorsuch by working with progressive allies to expose his antigay, anti-trans, anti-woman, anti-choice and anti-worker agenda.
“While it is disappointing to have lost this particular fight, there is no longer any real debate over what kind of nominee President Trump put forth. And there is no longer any doubt that, to certain folks in Washington, securing a â€œpolitical winâ€ was more important than safeguarding the rights of millions of Americans.
“So itâ€™s okay to be angry, sad, frustrated and disappointed. I am too. But know this:
“Lambda Legal was there. The voice of our community was heard. We made a difference.
“And we wonâ€™t stop.Â #WeObject“
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Christian Right Facing ‘Credibility’ Issues — Just as They Try to Force Their Will on Everyone Else: Analyst
On Tuesday, writing for MSNBC’s ReidOutBlog, Ja’han Jones outlined how the Christian Right is facing renewed moral scrutiny and a crisis of “credibility” — at exactly the moment they have captured the Supreme Court and have begun striking down rights and protections they have long declared to be counter to moral society.
Specifically, he argued, the latest rash of sex abuse allegations against conservative Christian institutions puts their moral authority on the line.
The Catholic Church has long faced criticism for overlooking and shielding priests accused of molesting children — but now, noted Jones, other denominations are coming under scrutiny for similar alleged misconduct.
“First, there’s the scandal still unfolding at Agapè Boarding School, a Christian facility for young men in Missouri that’s facing a slew of child abuse allegations. Agapè pitches guardians on its ability to ‘biblically teach your child the importance of submission to authority and the joys of being an obedient law-abiding citizen,'” wrote Jones. “The Missouri State Highway Patrol has been investigating Agapè for systemic child abuse for more than a year now. On Monday, The Daily Beast reported new details about several students who have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually abused and beaten by workers at the school.”
“That alleged culture of abuse sounds similar to the one victims say was fostered by the Southern Baptist Convention, an ultraconservative denomination of Christian nationalists,” wrote Jones. “In May, church leaders released a report showing hundreds of pastors and church workers have been accused of sexual abuse. The SBC, which is in ideological lockstep with the conservative movement, has since released the names of pastors it says were accused between 2000 and 2019. When the news dropped, SBC President Ed Litton said in a statement there ‘are not adequate words to express my sorrow at the things revealed in this report,’ and that Southern Baptists ‘must resolve to change our culture and implement desperately needed reforms.'”
All of this, he noted, comes as many right-wing Christian organizations are claiming that their hate speech and discrimination against LGBTQ people is in the name of “defending children.” And this is “an impossible sell when the worlds they operate appear even more broken than the one they want to ‘fix.'”
You can read more here.
Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre
On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.
“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.
“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.
‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”
Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.
“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theory” repeatedly, and used the term “invasion” repeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.
“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.
Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick repeatedly says the state’s declaration of an “invasion” of migrants means they can “put hands on people and send them back.”
He then says “we’re being attacked just like we were on Pearl Harbor.” pic.twitter.com/kmcPakR43Z
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2022
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