Just less than a year ago, the CCAR joined with other faith groups in submitting an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County. At the time, I shared a message about what that brief said.
Today, the Court decided the case. By a 6-3 vote, it held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bans workplace discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. People who assume that the Court always votes on strict ideological lines will probably be surprised by this outcome and by the fact that Justice Neil Gorsuch, regarded by many as a safe conservative, authored the majority opinion.
One reason we keep producing amicus briefs is that neither this nor any other court can be so easily catalogued. While judges have ideological tendencies, most of them do attempt to apply the law. This decision used some very traditional legal reasoning to determine that the Civil Rights Act means what it says: treating a man differently from a woman, or vice versa, violates the law. If a woman who is attracted to man cannot be fired for that reason, neither can a man who is attracted to men. End of story.
Our brief dealt with whether there might be occasions where someone might not have to obey this law for religious reasons. We said any such occasions were few and far between, and certainly didn’t come up here. The Court agreed with our second point. If and when that question is legitimately presented in the future, we will again be prepared to share our views.
In the meantime, our most basic position was affirmed: federal law protects LGBTQ individuals from discrimination. For today, that is reason enough to rejoice.