NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – President Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court has alarmed many LGBT+ advocates, who fear the appointment of another conservative judge would jeopardise the rights of gay and trans people.
If confirmed, Barrett, who has described conservative judge Antonin Scalia as her mentor, would push the country’s highest court to a 6-3 conservative majority.
At 48, she could serve for decades in the lifetime job, potentially leaving a lasting conservative legacy.
“Confirming Barrett will drag America backwards,” Sarah Kate Ellis, head of the LGBT+ advocacy group GLAAD, said in a statement when she was nominated.
As the U.S. Senate on Monday
In a case filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Loudoun County photographer Bob Updegrove asserts that the law could force him to photograph a same-sex wedding despite his personal opposition to same-sex marriage.
“The government cannot demand that artists create content that violates their deepest convictions,” Jonathan Scruggs, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious-liberty group representing plaintiffs in both cases, said in a statement.
State Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who sponsored the Virginia Values Act and was the state’s first openly gay legislator, noted that the law also bans discrimination on the basis of race, religion, disability and status as a veteran.
“People have a right to be free from discrimination,” he said. “We’re moving into a Virginia that can accept that. And there are a few people who want to hold onto the past, unfortunately.”
The other suit, filed Monday in Loudoun