Amy Coney Barrett on LGBTQ Rights

| Reproaction

By: Kieran Mailman

On October 5, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear a case from a former county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito took the opportunity to condemn Obergefell v. Hodges – the 2015 Supreme Court case that legalized gay marriage – claiming that the decision in Obergefell violates the religious freedoms of anti-LGBTQ activists. [1]

Even before the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this sentiment would have been alarming; but with Trump’s recent nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, this dissent from Thomas and Alito is especially ominous.

Barrett’s opinions on LGBTQ issues are no secret. In 2015, Barrett signed onto a letter describing marriage as the “indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman,” making it likely that she would side with Justices Thomas and Alito if Obergefell were called into question. [2]

Though she had previously dismissed her ties to the anti-LGBTQ organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) as casual, ADF’s mission is anything but: They have lobbied for the recriminalization of homosexuality, legalized workplace discrimination against LGBTQ people, and even the sterilization of trans people attempting to have the government recognize their gender. [3] Being connected to those who want to see the rights of LGBTQ people completely stripped away is anything but ‘casual.’

Barrett’s views on trans people are equally outdated. In a 2016 lecture, Barrett stated that trans people should not be protected under Title IX; she believes Title IX was originally written only to protect cisgender women and, therefore, should stay that way due to her ‘originalist’ view of the law. During the lecture, Barrett repeatedly misgendered trans women, referring to them as ‘physiological males’ and echoing anti-trans talking points on whether trans women should be allowed in women-only spaces. [4]

As a queer trans person, Amy Coney Barrett is a direct threat to me and those I love. Even with recent Supreme Court decisions in support of LGBTQ equality, LGBTQ people in the United States still face unacceptable levels of discrimination. In particular, Black and brown trans women have been subjected to horrific violence and discrimination: in the last year, thousands of Black trans people have reported being attacked or discriminated against because of their gender, and most of the trans people murdered in 2020 have been Black and brown trans women. [5]

We cannot afford to let Amy Coney Barrett’s antiquated ideology set LGBTQ rights back several decades. Supporting the LGBTQ community means opposing her nomination and denouncing this blatant power grab ahead of the 2020 election.


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