Brief falsely suggests LGBTQ people do not exist, but rather are choosing “actions, behaviors, or inclinations.”
53 members of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are urging the nation’s highest court to rule against LGBTQ people when it hears three landmark cases October 8. The lawmakers, all Republicans (list below), say the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not – and should not be interpreted to – protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, including their own constituents.
In a grotesque and ignorant reading of a key portion of the 55-year old legislation the Republican lawmakers suggest LGBTQ people do not exist, but rather are choosing “actions, behaviors, or inclinations,” which is false.
“Title VII’s sex discrimination provision prohibits discrimination because of an individual’s sex; it does not prohibit discrimination because of an individual’s actions, behaviors, or inclinations,” the lawmakers say in the amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court.
“What the statute actually prohibits is discrimination ‘because of [an] individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,’” the Republicans insist.
The Advocate notes the brief “demeans the plaintiffs bringing actions forward to the court,” including claiming one of the plaintiffs only claimed he was gay so he could sue for wrongful termination. It also repeatedly misgenders a funeral director who is a woman and transgender, referring to her as “he.”
The brief also wrongly claims a correct interpretation of the Civil Rights Act to include LGBTQ people would “adversely” affect “the protection of women’s rights.”
And in a nod to the Hobby Lobby case, the brief proclaims that the “funeral home is a closely held corporation whose principal is a Christian,” strongly suggesting it is his First Amendment right to fire someone because they are LGBT.
The friend of the court brief was co-authored by Ken Starr, the former head of Baylor University who resigned in disgrace. Starr is also known for having defended Jeffrey Epstein, for being an attorney representing supporters of California’s anti-gay Prop 8, and the infamous special prosecutor whose work led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
It is unknown if taxpayer funds were used to pay for the brief.
Republican Senators who have signed the amicus brief include Marsha Blackburn, Roy Blunt, Mike Braun, John Cornyn, Kevin Cramer, James Inhofe, James Lankford, and Mike Lee.
Republican Representatives include:
Robert B. Aderholt (AL-04), Rick W. Allen (GA-12), Brian Babin (TX-36), Jim Banks (IN-03), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Ted Budd (NC-13), Michael C. Burgess (TX-26), Doug Collins (GA-09), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Bill Flores (TX-17), Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Paul A. Gosar, (AZ-04), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Michael Guest (MS-03), Andy Harris (MD-01), Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Jody Hice (GA-10), George Holding (NC-02), Richard Hudson (NC-08), Jim Jordan (OH-04), Steve King (IA-04), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Thomas Massie (KY-04), Mark Meadows (NC-11), Alex X. Mooney (WV-02), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Pete Olson (TX-22), Gary Palmer (AL-06), John Ratcliffe (TX-04), David Rouzer (NC-07), Van Taylor (TX-03), Tim Walberg (MI-07), Mark Walker (NC-06), Randy K. Weber (TX-14), Ron Wright (TX-06), and Ted S. Yoho (FL-03).
Those concerned can contact their Senators and Representatives by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
General Motors auto workers call strike in US
The United Auto Workers union called a nationwide strike against General Motors Sunday, with some 46,000 members set to walk off the job beginning at midnight amid an impasse in contract talks.
The decision, which the Wall Street Journal described as the first major stoppage at GM in more than a decade, came a day after the manufacturer's four-year contract with workers expired without an agreement on a replacement.
Local union leaders met in Detroit "and opted to strike at midnight on Sunday," the UAW said on its Twitter account.
"This is our last resort," Terry Dittes, the union's lead negotiator with GM, told a news conference after the meeting. "We are standing up for the fundamental rights of working people in this country."
Saudi Arabia races to restore oil supply — drone strike blamed on Iran
Saudi Arabia raced on Sunday to restart operations at oil plants hit by drone attacks which slashed its production by half, as Iran dismissed US claims it was behind the assault.
The Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, claimed Saturday's strikes on two plants owned by state energy giant Aramco.
But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed the finger squarely at Tehran, saying there was no evidence the "unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply" was launched from Yemen.
"The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression," the top US diplomat added.
Trump flip-flops on meeting with Iran with ‘no preconditions’– then blames it on the media
President Donald Trump went off on the "fake news media" yet again, after his own appointees announced he was willing to meet with Iran.
"The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, 'No Conditions.' That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)," Trump tweeted.
In an odd twist, Trump announced just three months ago he'd be willing to meet with no preconditions.
“Not as far as I’m concerned – no preconditions,” the president said in a Meet the Press interview. At another point in the interview, he also said: “I think they want to make a deal. And my deal is nuclear.”