You could feel the energy outside the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday as Americans United and other groups rallied to defend LGBTQ rights.
The high court heard oral arguments in three important cases dealing with LGBTQ rights and employment discrimination. The stakes are high: The outcome of these cases could affect the rights of millions of Americans.
A wide array of people came together to call on the court not to turn back the clock on LGBTQ rights. A small contingent from the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church waved their usual pathetic signs threatening hellfire, but they were vastly outnumbered by men and women of various colors, beliefs, genders and sexual identities who presented the real face of America today – an incredible mosaic where all are valued and none suffer on account of who they are or who they love. It was inspiring to see and hear them.
AU President and CEO Rachel Laser was among the speakers.
“Today, we call on the Supreme Court to affirm that our equality and ability to fully participate in society should not hinge on our boss’s religious beliefs, or anyone else’s,” Laser said. “The religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution is meant to protect the right to practice any religion, or no religion at all, without harming others.”
As we noted last week, the high court is examining the fairly narrow question of whether a federal 1964 civil rights law that bans employment discrimination on the basis of sex protects LGBTQ people. But church-state issues are clearly implicated in these cases because so much of the animus that LGBTQ people face in society, which includes job insecurity, springs from religiously based opposition to LGBTQ rights.
We hope the court will come down on the right side of history and rule that employment discrimination is always wrong, especially when it attempts to use “religious freedom” as a justification.
P.S. You can take a stand against employment discrimination based on bogus interpretations of “religious freedom” by signing this AU petition.