Lawyer Blasts Federal Commission on “LGBT Nondiscrimination” for Overstepping the Law and Misinterpreting SCOTUS Ruling
A religious freedom lawyer has blasted so-called “federal LGBT nondiscrimination guidance” as an “outrageous overreach” of the law that could pressure Christians into acting against their conscience.
In an interview with Catholic News Agency, John Bursch of the Alliance Defending Freedom said that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) takes the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Bostock v. Clayton County case and reads into it issues that were never there.
Bursch, who argued before the court, said that the SCOTUS ruling only decided “you can’t fire someone simply for being gay or transgender.” It did not address anything pertaining to locker room, shower, and bathroom access for transgenders or the implementation of “sex-specific dress code policies.”
“But now what the EEOC does is it extends the ruling to all of those things,” he said. “It’s almost like they’re thumbing their nose at the Supreme Court and saying ‘okay, you gave us an open door, so now we’re going to run with it and do all the things that you declined to do.”
EEOC guidance states that transgender workers must be able to access bathrooms, locker rooms, or showers based on their “gender identity,” not their biological sex. The commission also maintains that an employee’s persistent refusal to use a transgender person’s “preferred pronouns” may constitute an act of “unlawful workplace discrimination,” which of course is grounds for termination.
Bursch is concerned that the mere expression of a Catholic or broadly Christian understanding of marriage and the human person could be punishable by the threat of termination.
“You could be brought into your supervisor’s office and threatened with a hostile work environment charge and even termination, simply for talking about [the Church’s teaching on marriage],” he told CNA.
The EEOC’s provisions, Bursch concludes, use the Bostock ruling as a “cover, almost like a Trojan Horse to introduce all these new concepts into federal law that didn’t exist before.” He expects more lawsuits to crop up in the future as a result.