Several weeks ago a ruling was handed down from SCOTUS that will have long-term effects on America, our Religious Liberty, women’s sports, and so much more. You can read the entire ruling here.
I asked Nate Kellum, our CRE Chief Counsel, to share with us what we can expect to face as a result of this ruling, and what can be done to protect Religious Liberty in the future. This was what he shared:
On the morning of Monday, June 15, 2020, I heard the R.G Harris Funeral Homedecision, also known as Bostock v. Clayton County, had come out.
I was surprised to learn the Supreme Court had released the opinion. I knew the decision would be rendered in June, but I expected it to come out later in the month (SCOTUS usually reserves their more controversial decisions for the latter part of June). But I was excited to hear the news and could not wait to read the opinion.
You see, we participated in the case, filing an amicus (friend of the court) brief on behalf of the funeral home and its owner, so they could retain the freedom to require employees to dress according to their biological sex while interacting with grieving families.
I was optimistic about our chances. Our arguments seemed rock-solid to me.
A busines owner should be able to maintain a dress code. A Christian business owner should not be forced to do something against his conscience to stay in the marketplace. Plus, the employee was making a Title VII claim, and that statute provides no protections for gender identity or sexual orientation as written.
The employee contended the category “sex” specified in Title VII should cover these things, but the interpretation is a such gross stretch of the statute’s plain language and purpose, I was certain the majority of the justices would reject the idea out of hand.
So, I printed the opinion out and read it. My heart sunk. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. What do you call it when you are more shocked than shocked?
An hour later, I read the opinion again. That time, I was experiencing some combination of disgust and disappointment. Later on, in the afternoon, I read the opinion a third time. Following this reading, I had a different feeling. I was resolved… resolved to take a stand, a final stand, for religious liberty.
In this third reading, I noticed that Justice Gorsuch, who wrote this opinion, left the issue of how this decision can be reconciled with religious liberty for another day… for future litigation. He specifically affirmed the continued existence of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, legislation designed to protect religious liberty. The opinion left one more battle – the most crucial one – to be fought.
And all of us here at CRE are resolved to fight it. If we lose our religious freedom, we no longer have a country, at least not one that any of us would recognize.
This is the last battle. The defense of religious liberty is our last stand.
Please join us.
Posted by Jennifer Walker, CRE Director of Communication