Across the country, recurring news stories about sexual harassment have opened our collective eyes to a critical problem right under our nose: sexual harassment. As many rightly have said, the #MeToo movement has created a national reckoning. As we’ve talked with and listened to our own employees at Microsoft, we’ve realized that it also needs to be more than this. It needs national reflection.
The close of 2017 brings with it the opportunity to reflect on this first year of the Trump Administration—the attacks on the rule of law, the unprecedented resistance, and the hope for a way forward. One campaign promise President Trump has managed to keep is the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice. While Justice Neil Gorsuch testified that he made no indications as to how he would rule in any case, Trump’s campaign promises included Supreme Court appointees who would overturn Roe v. Wade, undermining the Constitutional protection for the right to decide whether to continue a pregnancy, and—he apparently believed—paving the way for states to enact “some form of punishment” for people who have abortions.
by Eric Lesh, Fair Courts Project Director, Lambda Legal and Ethan Rice, Fair Courts Project Attorney, Lambda Legal
LGBT people have suffered a long history of discrimination based on animus and invidious stereotypes. As has been the case for other groups targeted for their personal characteristics, LGBT people have seen prejudice against them displayed in our nation’s courtrooms.
When this type of anti-LGBT bias taints the jury selection and trial processes, it reinforces historical prejudice in the court system, interferes with litigants’ right to a fair trial, and undermines the integrity of the courts.
Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission is framed narrowly—as a case about whether making a wedding cake is expressive conduct or whether religious individuals should be exempted from laws protecting same-sex couples. But this narrow view of the case misses its real stakes. The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF, formerly Alliance Defense Fund), which represents Masterpiece Cakeshop, is driving the litigation and many similar cases around the country. ADF is not interested in a narrow resolution to a narrow question; rather, ADF is taking aim at the very legitimacy of LGBT people and legal protections for them.