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LGBTI groups in US unite against Kavanaugh

LGBTI groups in US unite against Kavanaugh

US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh takes questions from senators (Photo: Twitter)

US supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is a ‘narrow-minded idealogue’ who will damage the rights of LGBTI citizens, advocates warned on Thursday (4 October).

A letter of opposition signed by 73 LGBTI organizations said Kavanaugh’s ‘views on civil rights issues are fundamentally at odds with securing equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law’.

The letter, signed by groups including GLAAD and AIDS United, came after a comprehensive review of Kavanaugh’s record.

LGBTI and women’s rights activists have widely denounced the controversial nominee.

FBI investigations into accusations of sexual assault have delayed Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. But, a confirmation vote is expected to take place on Saturday.

The US appoints the Supreme Court’s nine justices for life. They have the final say on some of the biggest issues in US public life. These include discrimination, abortion, gun control and voting laws.

His appointment would swing the court to become more conservative.

LGBTI equality at stake

‘It is not an exaggeration to say that key protections that enable LGBT individuals to participate as equal members of our society are at stake’, Thursday’s joint statement said.

The groups said Kavanaugh ‘has not served as a neutral and fair-minded jurist’.

The statement flags five areas in which Kavanaugh’s record shows he would impinge the rights of LGBTI Americans:

Firstly, Kavanaugh believes in tethering personal freedom to ‘tradition’. The approach ‘would erode or eliminate significant protections for LGBT people’, the groups said.

Secondly, Kavanaugh may discard laws that protect against attempts to invoke religious liberty as a reason to discriminate, the statement said. Kavanaugh ‘will support a radical new view of religious exemptions from generally applicable laws’ the groups warned.

Thirdly, they warn Kavanaugh would gut healthcare provision, particularly for pre-existing health conditions. This would adversely affect transgender people and people living with HIV.

Fourthly, the president will be able to influence Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has previously argued that sitting Presidents should not be subject to civil or criminal investigation.

Finally, the statement says, Kavanaugh has a record of siding with the rich and powerful. LGBTI people, meanwhile, are more likely than others to live in poverty.

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