The last four days have been both stressful and celebratory for the LGBTQ community.
On Friday, Donald Trump issued an Executive Order removing the Obama era protections for the LGBTQ community from discrimination in the health care industry.
Condemnations were swift.
2020 Presidential Democratic Nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden posted on social media:
“We need a president who will fight to further LGBTQ+ equality — not roll back the hard-won progress we’ve already made.”
Arizona Democratic Party Chairperson Felecia Rotellini issued a statement which read:
“This is appalling. On the fourth anniversary of the Pulse Night Club shooting, during Pride Month, and while the country is still suffering from a pandemic, Trump reverses transgender health protections placed in the Affordable Care Act by the Obama-Biden administration.
President Trump’s attack on LGBTQ+ Americans is abhorrent. This President’s cruelty and hatred towards vulnerable communities know no bounds. But it is no match for the will and passion of Democrats who will ensure civil and human rights for the LGBTQ+ community are restored.
That is why in November we will elect Vice President Biden and begin the work of undoing the damage that Trump has done to this nation and its people.
To the LGBTQ+ community, we are with you and we will never stop fighting for you.”
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman posted on Facebook:
“On the anniversary of the Pulse massacre, our leaders should be doing everything possible to create a world where all LGBTQIA people – particularly Black Trans women – feel safe and loved. Trans rights are human rights.”
Responding to a request from Blog for Arizona, Congressional District Five Candidate Joan Greene commented:
“The job of an elected lawmaker is to protect our families and communities. To move our Nation forward, to build on the growth and be the Nation people look up to.”
“The past 3.5 years we have only experienced chaos and been under the thumb of a cruel fascist along with his henchmen who are stealing our rights, lives and livelihoods as they financially enrich themselves.”
“Trump’s attacks on the healthcare of our LGBTQ and Trans is not unexpected from the extreme right-wing factions. The moderate Republicans who disagree with Trump will carry the shame and stain of their silence long after they are voted out of office.”
“Therefore, we need to keep the House, take back the Senate and the Presidency. We must enact laws that protect all of our community members that are binding.”
Congressional District Six Candidate Dr. Hiral Tipirneni released a statement which read:
“Trans rights are human rights. As a doctor, I’m disgusted by the notion that we would ever deny care to a human being because of their gender identity — but the Trump administration took actions yesterday which make that horrific kind of discrimination possible.”
“The administration’s new federal rule means that transgender Americans no longer have protection from discrimination when going to a hospital or trying to purchase health insurance.”
“This vile policy reveals so much about the White House’s priorities: putting an already vulnerable population at further risk of losing access to healthcare and rolling back LGBTQ+ rights. That they did this in the middle of Pride Month makes it even crueler.”
“As a healthcare professional, as a mother, and as a fellow human being, I am calling on David Schweikert to speak out and denounce the administration’s disgusting attack on transgender Americans. It’s time he showed some leadership and made clear to the Trump administration that Americans won’t tolerate such hateful laws.”
Congressional District Eight Democratic Candidate Bob Musselwhite wrote:
“I believe that we must as a nation provide affordable quality portable health care to every individual. This means that many people will have to turn to government-run plans and better-regulated medicine. Splitting hairs on who qualifies for political purposes diverts from the idea that ALL qualify. If groups, feel that ALL should not qualify in their medical plan then unregulated private insurance should be available for them to turn too.”
When Congress passed the landmark Affordable Care Act they avoided as much controversy as possible in order to get the legislation passed thinking that the devil was in the details. Not one single Republican supported the bill. Any president of ALL the people would move to make certain that ALL the people were included in a clearer definition that Congress did not provide. We presently have a president that believes in amassing personal power not by expanding support but by using his power to solidify the people that give him their personal allegiance. He does that by stirring baseless emotion rather than logic.”
“Maybe one-day people will stop falling for this age-old authoritarian trick of assigning scapegoats instead of proposing solutions based on the truth. Unfortunately for our country, it will not be this president.”
Three days later, the somber mood in LGBTQ, civil rights, and progressive circles changed for the better.
Today (June 15, 2020,) the rights for members of the LGBTQ community profoundly shifted to rejoicing as the United States Supreme Court, in a historic 6 to 3 decision, ruled that job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was unconstitutional.
Please click on AZ Blue Meanies June 15 column here where he explains the details of the ruling.
Again reactions were quick among Joe Biden and leading Arizona Democrats.
Joe Biden issued a statement which read:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a momentous step forward for our country. Before today, in more than half of states, LGBTQ+ people could get married one day and be fired from their job the next day under state law, simply because of who they are or who they love. This landmark 6–3 ruling affirms that LGBTQ+ Americans are entitled to equal rights under the law.
The story of our nation is one of a relentless march toward greater justice and greater equality for all people. Fifty years ago, this month, the first Pride march took place in New York City as a protest — as a call for liberation. Today, by affirming that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Supreme Court has confirmed the simple but profoundly American idea that every human being should be treated with respect and dignity. That everyone should be able to live openly, proudly, as their true selves without fear.
This decision is another step in our march towards equality for all. And while we celebrate this victory today, we know that our work is not yet done. As President, I look forward to signing into law the Equality Act, protecting the civil rights of LGBTQ+ Americans, and championing equal rights for all Americans. Happy Pride!”
Arizona Democratic Party Chair Felecia Rotellini released a statement which read:
“Today’s landmark 6-3 ruling affirms that LGBTQ+ Americans are entitled to the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, banning discrimination in the workplace. Before today’s Supreme Court decision, in more than half of the states, including Arizona, gay and transgender people could be fired from their job for the callus reason of who they are and who they love.”
“But even while we celebrate today, the fight for true equal rights for gay and transgender individuals must go on. Last Friday, the Trump administration finalized a rule that would remove protections against discrimination against LGBTQ+ people when it comes to health care and health insurance. This is just the latest example of the threat Trump and Republicans pose to LGBTQ+ Americans.”
“Across this nation, activists, grassroots organizations, and Democrats are working to ensure we elect leaders who never waver in their support of the LGBTQ+ community. We must make sure the precedent set today becomes the standard for opening even more doors to equal rights. Arizona Democrats will not rest until this is achieved.”
Senator Kyrsten Sinema posted on Twitter:
“This might be a surprise to some. After all, gay marriage has been legal for years. How strange that, since 2015, an LGBT person could get married on Sunday & fired on Monday. By strange, I mean wrong Finally, all Arizonans will be hired/fired for their work, not who they are”
Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman wrote on Facebook:
“In the 1950s and 60s, people all over the US came together to demand better for their communities and families. From those uprisings came the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – the law that is the foundation for today’s SCOTUS decision.”
“Our collective ability to offer protection, love, and security for our LGBTQIA community is just one reason to celebrate Pride this year. Thank you Virtual Arizona Pride, Flagstaff Pride, and Bisbee Pride for inviting me to the celebration!”
Please click here to access the video she shared.
Maricopa County Democratic Party Chairperson Steven Slugocki, responding to a request for Comment from Blog for Arizona offered:
“Today’s Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling regarding LGBT workers and their protections comes as a welcome surprise. We’re thrilled for our LGBTQ community. Bias against gay and transgender employees SHOULD NEVER exist in the workplace.”
“SCOTUS Justices have hand-delivered yet another defeat to the Trump agenda. This landmark ruling marks the beginning of the end for this failed administration. The Maricopa County Democrats are ready to flip the county and state in November. We’re excited to cast our vote and win elections up and down the ballot this year.”
“Today’s SCOTUS decision is a win for the #LGBTQ community and for our nation!”
“Discrimination has no place in our society. Be who you are, love who you love!”
“No one should ever lose their livelihood for loving who they love.”
Congressman Ruben Gallego also posted on Twitter:
“Nobody should lose their job because of who they are or who they love. This is a major victory for the #LGBTQ community and a major step forward towards equality.”
Representative Raul Grijalva stated on Facebook:
“Before today, you could be fired in Arizona and numerous other states simply for who you love or how you identify. The Supreme Court said that was wrong.”
“This was a stunning rebuke of Trump’s dogma that consistently devalues LGBTQ lives.
Whether it was Trump’s decision to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military, HHS officials rolling back discrimination protections in healthcare, or Secretary DeVos’ relentless targeting of LGBTQ students in our schools, the Trump Administration time and time again has proven it is no friend to the LGBTQ community.”
“In the middle of a Pride Month that is very different from years past, I join hands with my LGBTQ brothers and sisters and celebrate this ruling that is one step closer to the full equality they deserve.”
Congressman Tom O’Halleran remarked on Twitter:
Representative Greg Stanton wrote on Facebook:
“This is a strong step forward for civil rights. Our LGBTQ+ coworkers deserve protection from discrimination under the law. In the workplace, in every place.”
Members of the Arizona Democratic State Legislative Delegation and Activists also issued a joint statement:
Members and stakeholders of the Arizona LGBTQ Caucus celebrated today’s landmark 6-3 United States Supreme Court ruling protecting LGBTQ workers are protected under federal employment laws. The decision was a major step forward toward equality, but members cautioned that there is still much work to do because it is still legal to deny housing and accommodations in Arizona based on who you are and who you love.
Rep. Daniel Hernandez Jr., Chair of the Arizona LGBTQ Caucus:
“Today In the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis and vitally important nationwide demonstrations in support of Black lives and against systemic racism the United States Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision declared that employers who fire an individual for being a member of the LGBTQ Community violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
During these dark times, we must celebrate the fact that Arizonans can no longer be fired for who they are or who they love. But we have a long road to go. In Arizona, you can still be discriminated against in stores, restaurants, and hotels. You can still be denied housing. And most recently transgender Americans can be denied healthcare due to changes by the Trump Administration. Next year we look forward to passing an inclusive law that protects all Arizonans in housing and public accommodations.”
Michael Soto, Executive Director of Equality Arizona:
“Today’s decision is a vital step in ensuring that LGBTQ+ Americans are fully equal under the law. This decision is a beginning and not an end, to what we hope renewed energy to win comprehensive protections for LGBTQ+ Arizonans and Americans. EQAZ is committed to working with the LGBTQ+ caucus to win these protections for LGBGTQ+ Arizonans by passing comprehensive statewide non-discrimination policy during the 2021 session.”
Rep Cesar Chavez, Co-Founder of the LGBTQ Caucus:
“Over the years we have seen landmark decisions that have provided protections to numerous populations. Today’s Supreme Court decision is proof that all humans deserve equal protections afforded by the constitution of our nation.”
Sen. Tony Navarrete, LGBTQ Caucus member:
“Today’s SCOTUS ruling is a significant win for LGBTQ people throughout Arizona and our country. For years, Arizonans have been advocating for equal protections in the workplace for our LGBTQ community. No one should ever live in fear of losing their job and livelihood because of their sexual orientation and identity. I applaud the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling to create a more just and equal country for all of its workers.”
Bridget Sharpe, State Director Arizona Human Rights Campaign
“Today’s news is a landmark victory for equality. HRC AZ is committed to continuing our work to elect pro-equality leaders who will pass & sign the Equality Act in Congress and statewide protections in our legislature next year.”
Angela Hughey, One Community Executive Director
“Today’s decision is an important step forward for equality. But it is also a powerful reminder of how much work is left to do to ensure gay and transgender Arizonans have equal protections in all facets of life including housing, healthcare, and in public accommodations like restaurants, stores, hotels, and more.”
Legislative District 18 State Representative Jennifer Jermaine wrote on Facebook:
“Landmark 6-3 decision today by the Supreme Court! This will affect thousands of Arizonans who once feared being fired for being their true selves. This is a big win for the LGBTQ+ community.”
“We will keep working on housing nondiscrimination at the state level but it is now illegal everywhere in our country to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community in employment!”
Legislative District 18 State Senator Sean Bowie posted on Facebook:
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling on employment non-discrimination protections was wonderful news, but more work still needs to be done to ensure greater equality for our LGBTQ community. I sponsored two pieces of legislation this year: one to expand non-discrimination protections for housing and public accommodation statewide, and another to ban conversion therapy for children under 18. I will continue to fight for and advocate for these protections in the state senate, and work to ensure greater equality for all!
The Supreme Court ruling protects LGBTQ Arizonans in the workplace, but doesn’t address discrimination in housing and public accommodations.”
Captain Mark Kelly, the Arizona Democratic Senate candidate posted on Facebook:
“What an amazing moment for equality and the LGBTQ community during Pride Month. Now, let’s pass the Equality Act to ensure these protections from discrimination in employment for LGBTQ Americans extend to all areas — including housing, education, and health care services.”
Responding to a request for comment from Blog for Arizona, Delina DiSanto wrote:
“Trump trying to take healthcare protections away from the LGBTQ community will fail in court. Today, the Supreme Court made a sweeping decision from the justices (6-3) that protects gay, lesbian and transgender employees from being disciplined, fired or turned down for a job based on their sexual orientation. In this case, Trump will have an extremely hard time taking healthcare protections away. This is why it is so important this November to elect Democrats up and down the ballot; to ensure we enact and strengthen laws to protect all Americans.”
Congressional District Five Candidate Joan Greene also relayed:
“Today’s Supreme Court Ruling protecting the rights of LGBTQ workers is a step forward, not only protecting our LGBTQ communities from job loss, but it STRENGTHENS our Nation.”
Three of the contenders for the Congressional District Six Democratic nomination also offered their views on Facebook:
Anita Malik stated:
“A major victory against #LGBTQ employment discrimination today!!!
Now, let’s battle back on health care, housing, and more.
We must pass the #EqualityAct. We must stand up for equality in every way.”
Stephanie Rimmer wrote:
“What could be better during Pride Month than a couple conservatives to join the equality movement. Justice Gorsuch and Chief Justice Roberts have proven to be on the right side of the law.”
Karl Gentles stated:
“Today was an amazing victory for humanity and equality. We celebrate today’s ruling as a step closer to inclusion for all of our brothers and sisters.”
According to reporting from AZ Mirror’s Jim Small, no Congressional Republicans have expressed a view on today’s Supreme Court ruling.
In his postscript to his June 15 column detailing the Courts 6 to 3 decision, AZ Blue Meanie, citing a passage from an article from the New Yorker’s Masha Gessen, wrote:
“If the Supreme Court, in its forthcoming decision, rules that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, or both, constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex, which is banned by Title VII, then the three-hundred-page document published, on Friday, by Health and Human Services will be rendered legally irrelevant: the discrimination it encourages will be banned.”
Please click here to read a New York Times analysis of the ruling and its implications on Trump policies.
Blue Meanie concluded that:
“While this will assuredly be the final result, it is going to require the filing of a lawsuit(s) to stay the new guidelines, as the Supreme Court indicated in its decision today that issues arising from today’s opinion are for future cases.”
It is highly probable that those lawsuits will be filed, if they have not already, by the end of the week.
Hopefully, the vileness contained in the provisions of Trump’s Executive Order will never be applied to any citizen or resident in this country.
Of course, the Executive Order goes away when Joe Biden becomes President.
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