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.