With more than 60 million pre-election votes already cast and over 225,000 Americans dead (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), we are dismayed at the rushed confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett instead of a national focus and leadership on a pandemic relief package for the millions of Americans who are suffering. Because we just hit a record-high average national number of daily cases and election day is one week away, a Supreme Court confirmation is not only inappropriate, but puts at risk decades of progress for LGBTQ+ civil rights, reproductive freedom and affordable healthcare.

Justice Barrett’s history shows she is not a friend of the LGBTQ+ community:

  • Barrett defended the Supreme Court’s dissenters on the landmark marriage equality case of Obergefell v. Hodges, questioning the role of the court in deciding the case.
  • Claimed Title IX protections do not extend to transgender Americans, claiming it’s a “strain on the text” to reach that interpretation.
  • Repeatedly misgendered transgender people, referring to a transgender women as “physiological males,” while casting doubt on transgender rights.
  • Refused to rehear a racial segregation case, raising concerns about her approach to Civil Rights issues.
  • Consistently demonstrated opposition to reproductive rights: calling Roe an “erroneous decision” and a “dramatic shift.”

Barrett’s testimony coupled with her judicial record confirmed that she could be a decisive vote to take away access to critical health care, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ+ equality, and many more of our hard-fought rights. It’s more important than ever to elect legislators who will fight for the LGBTQ+ community. While the OutCenter stands with all LGBTQ+ resource centers who opposed this nomination via a formal letter to our Senators, we also recognize that we must focus on state-level policies and legislators who are going to actively work to protect us in every system that we are a part of.

If anyone had any reservations about voting next week, know that your vote will help not only protect the LGBT community, but will help determine the future of the county. While the newest Justice may sit on the court for the next 40+ years, the LGBT+ community and solidarity is forever. Now, and every election, we must show our solidarity and our power through voting for pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot.