National Center for Lesbian Rights

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Gorsuch fails to affirm fundamental rights for LGBTQ community, views Constitution as ‘frozen in time,’ and believes religion can justify discrimination against vulnerable groups

(San Francisco, CA, March 23, 2017)- Today marked the final day of Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch. NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq. issued the following statement in response:

“As we celebrate our fortieth year securing the rights, liberties and futures of LGBTQ people, we do so acutely aware that our work is perhaps more important now than it has ever been before. We live under an administration that came to office following a campaign grounded in divisiveness and whose initial actions have targeted transgender students, women, refugees, Muslims, and millions of people who have obtained healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Under this shadow, the United States Senate is currently considering the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch of the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court. We joined our sister LGBTQ organizations in a letter to the Senate stating our opposition to the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch based on his extreme view that religious liberty can justify discrimination against vulnerable groups, his belief that the meaning of our Constitution is frozen in time, and his skepticism about the very existence of the fundamental liberty and privacy rights that are essential to the equality of LGBTQ people.

Having listened to Judge Gorsuch’s testimony over the past several days, our concerns remain. Despite being asked by a number of senators, Judge Gorsuch would not agree that key cases affirming fundamental rights – including the landmark 2015 marriage equality decision – were properly decided by the Supreme Court. While repeatedly making the unexceptional statement that legal precedent is entitled to deference, Judge Gorsuch would not disavow prior writings in which he questioned the applicability of core Supreme Court holdings pertaining to liberty and privacy – the legal bedrock underlying the cases so important to LGBTQ people. We remain opposed to the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.”

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