Trump Names Neil Gorsuch, Judge With History of Anti-LGBT Positions, as SCOTUS Pick

January 31, 2017 • 8:23 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This evening President Trump announced that his nomination for the Supreme Court is Neil Gorsuch, a Tenth Circuit judge who has previously shown significant deference to private employers and corporations who deny equal protections or services to individuals on the basis of their religious beliefs. Judge Gorsuch notably ruled on the side of religious employers in both the Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor cases, and has dismissed issues of LGBT equality as merely part of a liberal “social agenda.”

“Religious freedom is a value that all Americans respect and which has been enshrined for centuries in our Constitution,” said Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans. “Unfortunately, Judge Gorsuch has exhibited a dangerous history of prioritizing religious beliefs over equal protection and equal treatment for all people. It is the obligation of the Supreme Court as the legal arbiter of the nation to protect all Americans under the mandates of the U.S. Constitution, and that includes treating LGBT Americans with fairness and respect. We urge the Senate Judiciary Committee not to move Gorsuch’s nomination to the Senate floor. With a record of defending religious liberty at the cost of infringing on individual liberties, Gorsuch’s confirmation could mean the rollback of basic freedoms and crucial protections for vulnerable LGBT people across America.”

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in its first-ever case on transgender equality in just a few weeks in the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender teenager who is challenging a policy in his local Virginia school district that singles him out and prevents him from using the restroom. The case is being brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The nomination of Judge Gorsuch appears to conflict with statements President Trump made on the campaign trail and reiterated as recently as last night in an official White House statement highlighting the President’s intention to “continue to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights,” and pledging in his Republican Party nomination speech to “protect the community from violence and oppression.”

“Earlier today we were glad to hear President Trump express a commitment to keeping in place an existing executive order ensuring critical workplace protections for employees of the federal government or federal government contractors,” said McTighe. “There is an undeniable body of evidence that nondiscrimination protections are central to making our economy stronger. Unfortunately, this nomination poses a significant threat to protections like the ones President Trump said just last night he’ll preserve.”

For more information on Gorsuch’s history and record, visit

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.


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