Ep. 17: A landmark case for LGBTQ rights: What’s next for religious liberty?

Jun 18, 2020

This week, the Supreme Court issued a landmark case for LGBTQ rights, interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Amanda and Holly discuss the opinion and the dissents, looking at the way each interprets “because of sex” in the statute. They also talk about how the opinion and dissents discuss implications for religious liberty, as well as responses to the case from the community. In the final segment, Amanda and Holly discuss and recommend recent movies and podcasts and invite you to join upcoming conversations about religious liberty, race, white supremacy and American Christianity.

Segment 1:

Amanda and Holly previewed the Title VII cases in Episode 5, which you can hear at this link. The three consolidated “because of sex” cases are Bostock v. Clayton CountyAltitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, and Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC.

Amanda mentioned this story on Gerald Bostock, written by Samantha Schmidt for The Washington Post: Fired after joining a gay softball league, Gerald Bostock wins landmark Supreme Court case.

They mentioned the coverage of the decision in The New York Times, by Adam Nagourney and Jeremy W. Peters: A Half-Century On, an Unexpected Milestone for L.G.B.T.Q. Rights.

To read the opinion by Justice Neil Gorsuch and dissents by Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, visit this link.


Segment 2: How does religious liberty fit into this? (starting at 16:30)

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is often referred to as “RFRA,” which sounds like “Riff-rah.” Learn more about it at this link.


Segment 3: Movie and podcast recommendations and invitations to join us in conversation (starting at 31:30)

Amanda recommended this episode of The Ezra Klein Show podcast, featuring a conversation with Cyrus Habib.

Holly recommended the movie Just Mercy, which is currently available to watch for free on several different streaming platforms.

Amanda recommended the documentary Emanuel, which is available to rent on streaming platforms.

You can watch a live Facebook conversation on Juneteenth with Amanda and BJC Director of Education Charles Watson Jr. on Friday, June 19, at 1 p.m. on BJC’s Facebook page.

Join us for a national conversation on white supremacy and American Christianity on Friday, June 26, at noon Eastern Time. The livestream is free, but you must register to attend. Visit BJConline.org/luncheon for details.

Respecting Religion is made possible by BJC’s generous donors. You can support these conversations with a gift to BJC.