In this week’s bombshell Supreme Court ruling, the justices voted 6-3 to force millions of America’s businesses, organizations, and individuals to accept LGBTQ employees against their moral and biblical convictions. This is wrong on many levels.
The decision, shocking most Americans, applied to three lower court appeal cases, the most notable of which was Harris Funeral Homes v. Aimee Stephens and EEOC. Funeral director, Anthony Stephens, was fired after announcing to his funeral home owners that he was changing his name to Aimee and would be working dressed as a women. The funeral home owners believed the action would cause increased grief for families of departed loved ones who were aware of the situation. The firm also felt such condition would cause undue stress on its other female employees who would have to share restrooms with the biological male. Stephens sued the funeral home.
The ruling according to the majority justices is an interpretation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which, among other things, prohibited employment discrimination based on gender. At the time, the intention of the Act was clearly about biological males and females. Monday’s decision interpreted the Act as applying to all LGBTQ sexual identities.
About half of all states already have some valid level of non-discrimination protection for LGBTQ communities. But the other half have limited or no such ordinances. On this issue, the states are generally aligned according to political party majority with blue states legislating LGBTQ protection and red states not. The SCOTUS decision no longer leaves the issue up to the states and even usurps the responsibility of the US Congress to enact discrimination law. Most conservatives view this ruling as judicial activism at the highest level. It was a radical rewrite of existing federal statute. It has taken a controversial social issue out of the hands of legislators representing national sentiment and forcing social change by judicial fiat from six individuals.
Although the decision left open the possibility of employers being exempted on religious grounds, there is little doubt but that lower courts will now use this decision to defend LGBTQ persons applying for employment in churches, Christian schools, para-church organizations, and religious related companies. The ruling’s application to only employment issues will not stop it from being influential in backing men attempting to join women’s sport teams as well as men using women’s restrooms and changing facilities. Such a sweeping decision by the Supreme Court has sunken America much deeper into the normalizing of deviate sexual behavior.
Furthermore, traditional conservative Americans guided by Christian principles felt a sense of disappointment and betrayal upon learning that Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with the liberal justices on this ruling. Gorsuch, usually an unyielding conservative on the Court, even wrote the majority opinion. Justices Kavanaugh, Thomas, and Alito provided the dissenting opinions.
Apparently, conservatives can no longer assume that justices leaning in their direction will vote with conservative ideals. With a 5-4 conservative majority in the Court, one liberal vote by any of the five will swing the decision. This makes it crucial to conservatives that a conservative president and Senate majority be in place when the next Supreme Court seat is vacated.
So, be alert. This ruling has left open all potential for capitalization by the LGBTQ community. Pray that the decision will not embolden those who might want to test the waters in ways that would cause more offense and animosity. What are your thoughts?