Regardless of the U.S. election’s outcome, LGBTQ equal rights will remain under attack because “the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary now pose a serious threat to our most basic freedoms,” wrote Jamie Manson, the new president of Catholics for Choice.
In an op-ed for LGBTQ Nation, Manson specifically cites the case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments for today and which asks whether religious organizations have the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people. A negative outcome in this case could be “a huge win for the religious right and a crushing blow to LGBTQ rights.” Manson makes a point the role of the Catholic justices on the Court:
“As a queer, Catholic woman who fights for reproductive rights, it is not lost on me that this alarming moment in American history is dominated by the presence of Catholics on the Supreme Court. The defendant in Fulton v. Philadelphia, a Catholic agency, will be arguing before a court that is now two-thirds Catholic. With the notable exception of Sonia Sotomayor, all are right-wing ideologues.
“In the name of conserving an imagined past, they have each expressed public and private opinions that would deny Americans our fundamental rights to protect our health, to create families, and to make decisions about our own bodies and futures.
“The irony is that official Catholic doctrine has an exceptional commitment to social justice, stemming from the Gospel teaching that we are to care for ‘the least among us.’ More than that, Catholics believe in a preferential option for the poor, meaning that those who are the most marginalized should receive an overabundance of justice. And yet, we watch as well-oiled, wealthy Catholics use their faith as a justification for systematically stripping the most vulnerable of their basic rights.”
Manson is clear: whatever happens in electoral politics or with a Supreme Court ruling, “we must not tune out and we must not lose our focus.” The work of securing justice for LGBTQ people, for reproductive rights, and for others must continue. She concludes, “The power to turn this country toward justice is in our hands. Let’s stand together and fight for one another.”
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, November 4, 2020