In yet another shockingly discriminatory move by the Trump administration, the Department of Justice has just sent a brief to the Supreme Court, asking them to allow organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ people because it’s part of their “religious freedom.”
This all has its roots in a 2018 case in Philadelphia: Fulton vs. City of Philadelphia. The case centered around the city of Philadelphia contracting a group, Catholic Social Services, to handle issues of adoption and fostering. The city discovered that the organization was breaching its contract of non-discrimination and was denying LGBTQ parents from fostering and adopting. Conservatives claim that since the organization is religious, it isn’t discriminating, but rather simply following religious beliefs.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling soon, which promoted the US Justice Department to issue the brief, hoping to sway the outcome. In the brief, the Trump administration tries to turn the tables on Philadelphia, claiming that denying rights to LGBTQ people isn’t discrimination. Instead, the fact that Philadelphia won’t let them discriminate is the actual discrimination and hurts Religious freedom.
The brief also uses lots of sympathetic language and mentions how this might hurt “taxpayers” who don’t agree with Philadelphia (which completely ignores the fact that LGBTQ people are also taxpayers.)
The Big Problem
The huge issue here is that if Philadelphia loses this case, it will set a precedent that any organization can legally discriminate against LGBTQ people as long as they claim religious liberty. The same-sex wedding cake ruling already created a large loophole that can be used to discriminate, and if this ruling also favors “religion” over civil rights, then it sets the stage for ongoing, legally-recognized discrimination.