US Supreme Court ‘just one vote short’ of re-banning equal marriage, anti-LGBT group brags
Anti-LGBT activists are jubilant at the confirmation of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch – bragging that they need just one more vote to overturn equal marriage.
Today the Senate narrowly confirmed Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the US Supreme Court – after Republicans changed procedural rules to push through a vote on a tiny majority.
Judge Gorsuch is a strict originalist who is likely to reject arguments that interpret the Constitution as affording protections for LGBT rights, and is likely to upset the fragile balance between liberals and conservatives on the court.
With Gorsuch filling the seat of the late ultra-conservative justice Antonin Scalia, the nine-person US Supreme Court regains the narrow 5-4 divide that led to the 2015 Obergefell v Hodges same-sex marriage decision.
But three of the justices who sided with equal marriage – 84-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 80-year-old Anthony Kennedy and 78-year-old Stephen Breyer – are rumoured to be approaching retirement.
Given the advanced age of the justices, anti-LGBT activists are openly hoping for another Trump appointee, which would tip the balance of the court.
Brian Brown of the National Organisation for Marriage wrote: “This development is a huge boost for NOM and for the prospects of restoring true marriage to our nation’s laws by reversing the illegitimate, anti-constitutional Obergefell ruling of 2015 redefining marriage.
“Justice Gorsuch shares Justice Scalia’s judicial philosophy and we are confident he will rule to overturn the illegitimate marriage decision.
“That means we are likely only one vote short of reinstating marriage in our nation, with rumors flying that another Court vacancy could occur soon with the retirement of one of the justices who voted to redefine marriage!”
The Gorsuch appointment has not been met with enthusiasm from LGBT groups, who now face an uphill battle in future SCOTUS battles over discrimination laws.
Sarah Kate Ellis of GLAAD said: “Republicans in the Senate just destroyed a steadfast American tradition for the purpose of confirming a person to the U.S. Supreme Court who will most certainly vote in opposition to the safety and well-being of the LGBTQ community and many marginalized groups for his entire career on the bench.
“With his history of siding against transgender Americans and arguing against marriage equality, Neil Gorsuch is yet another reprehensible pawn in the Trump Administration’s goal of erasing the LGBTQ community from the fabric of America.”
Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign, said: “We are deeply disappointed by the Senate Republicans’ decision to pave the way for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, who throughout his career has dismissed the role of the courts in protecting individual and civil rights.
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“He does not believe the Constitution protects marriage rights for same-sex couples. He has twice ruled in cases that undermined equality for transgender people. In his Senate testimony, he repeatedly dodged answers about the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people.”
Brown recently came up with a fantastic excuse for a poor turnout at one of his anti-gay marriage rallies.
After just a handful of diehard activists turned out for his big ‘March for Marriage’, he insisted they were at home ‘grieving’ for marriage.
He said: “We expected that the crowd would be smaller than past marches because people are still grieving from the US Supreme Court’s illegitimate decision redefining marriage.
“But continuing the March for Marriage gives supporters of marriage an important event to rally around and come to realize that they are not alone in supporting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”