It takes a phrase like “seismic shift” to describe how much the 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges altered the political and cultural landscape. Not only did it redefine marriage across cultural sectors and an entire nation, it had a huge impact on religious freedom. In an instant, those who held traditional beliefs about marriage became social pariahs.
If the Obergefell earthquake was the legal and cultural equivalent of a magnitude 7, the Bostock v. Clayton County decision may be a magnitude 9. If you’re like me and had to look up how earthquakes are measured, that’s about 100 times as powerful.
Before Bostock, only a minority of states prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In most states, bakers, florists, and other business owners were largely safe from lawsuits and penalties currently faced by people like Jack Phillips and Baronelle Stutzman.
The decision probably changed that. Not only did Bostock effectively re-write the Civil Rights Act in the area of employment, it’s now difficult to imagine a federal court not also applying its logic to areas such as housing and education.
While the Bostock case specifically dealt with Title VII, the next domino will likely be Title IX, which prohibits sexual discrimination in education. As Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation pointed out, Bostock “would either require the elimination of all sex-specific programs and facilities or allow access based on an individual’s subjective identity rather than his or her objective biology.”
To do otherwise would be to violate Justice Gorsuch’s absurd conclusion that any differential treatment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity requires discrimination based on sex.
Of course, a test case would have to be litigated first, which means there’s still time for Congress, who should’ve done this in the first place, to (quoting Anderson again) “clarify that when it uses the word ‘sex’ in civil rights statutes it does not refer to sexual orientation and gender identity.” And, Congress still has time to clarify that educational institutions offering single-sex facilities and sports programs “on the basis of biology” aren’t discriminating. It’s common sense, and it’s especially good for women.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera