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SCOTUS takes its first Gay Rights case in years


The good news: the Supreme Court is going to review a gay rights case, something it hasn’t done since 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized gay marriage in the U.S. The High Court typically doesn’t like gay rights cases, for the simple reason that, while the legally and morally correct thing for all the Justices to do is give LGBT people equal rights, it’s politically and religiously difficult for the Court’s Christian conservatives to do so. Instead, they’re put into the intellectually embarrassing position of having to dream up jurisprudential excuses to justify their bigotry. So they generally punt.

But now, here comes a case out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A rightwing Catholic agency, Catholic Social Services, which is run by the city’s Archdiocese, has refused to place foster children with same-sex couples, in violation of Philadelphia policy. This is obviously because of the Roman Catholic Church’s continued, stubborn resistance to recognizing gay people as equal to straight people. It’s odd that their Mission statement includes such misleading platitudes as “We are dedicated to serve others in a spirit of humility and genuine concern for the well-being of our neighbors” and “We affirm the God-given dignity and worth of every person,” since they clearly detest gay people and think they’re sub-humans who are going to Hell. But that’s Catholic hypocrisy for you. (And while we’re at it, the Church’s network of pedophile priests remains intact.)

Anyhow, an appeals court ruled that the City of Philadelphia was within its rights when it stopped placing foster children with the Archdiocese, because of the Archdiocese’s homophobia. That was good, but the Archdiocese, determined to hate on gay people, appealed to the Supreme Court. A decision may come down by June.

The U.S. Supreme Court has a recent history of ruling in favor of expanding civil rights to minorities. Brown v. Board of Education was a good example; so were Plessy v. Ferguson and Obergefell, as well as repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” in 2010, which allowed gay people in the military to come out publicly.

But that was before SCOTUS saw the appointments of two neo-fascist, homophobic conservatives, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Both are Trump acolytes, and Trump, whatever personal beliefs he may have about gay people, will do exactly what Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell, Jr. tell him to, which is: throw them under the bus and crush them. But the situation is even worse than that, for this is a case involving wrong behavior by a Roman Catholic Archdiocese, and at least half of SCOTUS Justices happen to be Roman Catholics.

The following Justices are all avowed Catholics: Roberts, Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh. Gorsuch was raised Catholic, although he later switched to a conservative branch of Episcopalian. Sotomayor is Catholic, but she puts the Constitution ahead of her personal religious beliefs, as all judges and Justices are required to do.

It’s easy to predict how Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch will vote: to strip gay people of any and all rights. These men aren’t so much “Justices” as Avengers for Roman Catholic and conservative Christian-Republican theocratic doctrine. So there are four votes to overturn Philadelphia’s correct decision, and allow the Catholic Archdiocese to continue to flagrantly discriminate against gay people. Sotomayor, as well as the three Jews on the High Court, Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan, all will side with Philadelphia, because Judaism is a religion of justice; I mean, the Jews invented the Western concept of justice. That leaves Chief Justice Roberts as the swing vote.

He’s Catholic. But he seems more fair-minded than his Republican colleagues, and he is concerned—as he should be–with how History will treat his legacy. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Roberts, personally, understands how heinous it is for gay couples to be denied the right to adopt children, simply because they—the couples—happen to be gay or Lesbian. Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch know it’s heinous, too, but they don’t care: with lifetime appointments, they’ve made the conscious choice to let their personal biases trump justice. We can only hope that Roberts will vote his conscience, not his religion, and allow freedom of choice to gay couples who only want to provide parentless children with safe, happy homes.

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