SCOTUS to Hear Case on LGBTQ Rights Day After Election

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday November 2, 2020

Justice Amy Coney Barrett
Justice Amy Coney Barrett  (Source:Associated Press)

The Supreme Court will hear a case concerning LGBTQ rights on Wednesday, the day after the election, CNBC reports. This will be the first high profile case heard by conservative justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was sworn in last week.

As EDGE reported last month, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia concerns private agencies hired by the government and funded by public tax dollars claiming their right "to deny services to people who are LGBTQ, Jewish, Muslim, or Mormon."

Essentially, Catholic Social Services, an organization hired by the City of Philadelphia to place children in foster care, has said they will not accept same-sex couples as foster parents. In the case, CSS claims the city has violated religious exemptions that allow them to discriminate against same-sex couples. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the city, and CSS has filed for the Supreme Court to hear the case.

CNBC states, "Religious rights activists are pushing for the court to use the case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, to overturn a 30-year-old precedent that has for decades mediated the balance between freedom of conscience and the rights of minority groups." At stake is expanded legal rights and protections for LGBTQ people; also at stake is laws protecting other groups of people including Jews, Muslims, and Mormons.

Just last month, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito signaled they would be open to revisiting cases such as Obergefell v. Hodges, which ruled in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples. With the conservative Trump-appointed Coney Barrett — whose confirmation was pushed through during an election year by Republicans who had previously refused to even meet President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland in 2016 — it looks as though the rolling back of more LGBTQ rights and protections is inevitable.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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