The LGBT community’s problem with Brett Kavanaugh
With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy in the US Supreme Court, President Donald Trump has nominated his second justice to the high court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh is very bad news for the LGBT community, according to several LGBT advocates, given his track record placing him to the right of every current justices except for Justice Clarence Thomas.
Brett Kavanaugh could affect future LGBT issues
Shannon Price Minter, the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, wrote in the Advocate warning of Kavanaugh’s selection to the high court.
Minter noted that Kavanaugh’s selection won’t directly reverse the landmark Supreme Court cases acknowledging LGBT equality.
However, he added that “there are a number of new issues that may be heard by the court and that could result in lasting harm to LGBT people and their families.”
He cited the constitutionality of discriminatory new state laws that allow adoption agencies to avoid placing children to LGBT people and same-sex couples if conflicts with their religious beliefs.
He likewise pointed out the issues of transgender students facing discrimination, of LGBT individuals seeking asylum in the US, and the current gutting of the Affordable Care Act protections .
“There is likewise a serious risk that a Trump-packed court will fail to robustly enforce the Supreme Court marriage equality case, Obergefell v. Hodges, and permit states to treat married same-sex couples unequally,” Minter warned.
Brett Kavanaugh: Deciding on abortion, marriage equality
Meanwhile, David A. Super, a professor of law at Georgetown University, wrote in the LA Times that Kavanaugh’s elevation could affect the future of both abortion and marriage equality, among others.
Super noted that Kavanaugh was selected to cast a decisive vote against Roe v. Wade: “The most straightforward way to eliminate constitutional protection for the right to abortion is to reject or limit the right to privacy.”
“Doing so would also remove the constitutional foundation for protecting same-sex couples. A decision against Roe implies that marriage equality too would be imperiled,” he pointed out.
Super also noted that there may come a time when the high court will have to decide on sudden emergencies “posing fundamental threats to our identity as a free and democratic country.”
“The court has not always distinguished itself in these situations. Especially crucial in these times are justices willing to act independently even at the cost of disappointing those who brought them to the court,” he said.
LGBT community to stand up against Brett Kavanaugh
Bob Moser, writing for Rolling Stone, noted Kavanaugh isn’t as religious as other contenders to the seat like Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is a well-known Catholic.
But Kavanugh does champion “religious liberty” or the rights of conservative Christians to discriminate.
Moser said: “We don’t know for sure that Kavanaugh would be a certain vote to overturn same-sex marriage.”
“But we do know that he’ll be siding enthusiastically with Christian cake-bakers and their ilk, joining a majority that’s poised to chip away at the rights queer folk have only just begun to win,” he added.
However, Moser expressed optimism that regardless of how Kavanaugh would act, the LGBT community will continue to do what ever’s needed to fight for equality.
“When three years after you became a more-or-less full-blown citizen of your own country, you suddenly face the reality of losing those rights, or many of them? But nobody is resigned,” he said.
“Nobody is going, ‘Oh, well, it was lovely to have human rights for a little while, anyway’,” he said.