News & Politics
American Leaders Talk LGBTQ Issues
In this exclusive audio podcast Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ participated in a press conference call hosted by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to discuss what’s at stake for LGBTQ rights in the Supreme Court vacancy and nomination process. American civil rights leaders included Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rachel Tiven, CEO, Lambda Legal, Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and Shannon Minter, Legal Director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). The speakers emphasized how nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s troubling record on health care, discrimination and religious exemption would disproportionately harm the LGBTQ community.
Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference stated, “As the Trump administration continues its attacks against the LGBTQ community, more cases involving LGBTQ rights are expected to reach our nation’s highest court. With civil and human rights at stake, the Senate must demand the release and review of Kavanaugh’s full record. The American people deserve to know Kavanaugh’s involvement in the Bush administration’s anti-LGBTQ agenda.” Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) added, “We’ve made incredible strides on LGBTQ rights in recent years and it’s easy now to take many of those rights for granted but that would be a huge mistake. Brett Kavanaugh was handpicked off a list of far-right jurists who were vetted for their commitment to a very narrow view of justice, opportunity and equality for all, a view that embraces a license to discriminate against our LGBTQ community members. Fundamental rights like marriage equality are hanging by a thread and it’s up to the American people to push back and make their voices heard.” Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) stated, “Brett Kavanaugh was handpicked by the anti-LGBTQ Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation. A Justice Kavanaugh would be a threat to people of color, women and the LGBTQ community. It’s time we raise our voices like never before and say no to Kavanaugh.”
Rachel B. Tiven, CEO of Lambda Legal stated, “When Lambda Legal persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down state laws criminalizing sodomy in 2003, it freed us, we were no longer criminals just for being ourselves. But if the Trump-Pence administration succeeds in putting Brett Kavanaugh on the bench, the bedrock of LGBTQ rights will be under immediate siege. The question is not whether marriage equality can be overturned – it is much more likely and more insidious that it will be slowly undermined by religious exemptions. This nomination puts Trump within striking distance of his goal of overturning Roe v. Wade and of turning back the clock on LGBT rights.” Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) stated “For the LGBTQ community, the urgency of our fight against Kavanaugh’s nomination is not abstract. It is literally about millions of people having a right to live their lives free from discrimination and with access to affordable health care. For decades, anti-LGBTQ extremists have attempted to use our courts as an instrument of oppression against the LGBTQ community. Now, for the second time in two years, they have handpicked one of their own to sit on the nation’s highest court.” Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) stated, “Before the ACA, merely being transgender was considered a pre-existing condition and cause for an insurer to turn you down for coverage Transgender people will never go back to being a pre-existing condition. We’re demanding the Senate refuse to confirm Judge Kavanaugh because no American should have to live in fear of having their coverage denied when they need it most.” Shannon Minter, legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) concluded, “Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would tilt an already conservative court to the far right. In the coming years, there are a number of new issues that will likely come before the court that could result in lasting harm for the LGBT community—including attempts to chip away at marriage equality or permit state agencies to discriminate against LGBT families in adoption and foster care. Our families and constitutional protections are at stake.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. (Graphic by Richard Emmanuel)
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