They are wasting no time. Since Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation less than two weeks ago, those on the religious right who oppose LGBTQ equality are filing lawsuits that could end up decided by the now conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court. And if that happens, Associate Justice Kavanaugh’s opinion might determine the outcome of those lawsuits.
One of the two complaints filed in federal court in Texas on October 6th—the very day of Kavanaugh’s confirmation—is an effort to challenge the LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance in the City of Austin. The other complaint seeks to challenge the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal agency once led by Clarence Thomas, over its interpretation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to bar anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace.
The plaintiff in both cases is the U.S. Pastor Council, a Christian organization based in Houston.
According to information on the Justia website, in the case against Austin, the U.S. Pastor Council is objecting to the City of Austin’s employment discrimination ordinance, “claiming that it fails to provide exemptions or accommodations for employers who hold religious objections to homosexuality or transgender people, and violates the U.S. Constitution, the Texas Constitution, and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”
In the case against the EEOC, the U.S. Pastor Council (along with co-plaintiff Hotze Health & Wellness Center, a group of Houston doctors specializing in holistic medicine) is “requesting the court exempt Christian employers from discrimination protections in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
For now, these newly filed lawsuits are on the docket in Texas. They will have to wind their way up the federal court system before making their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But in time, they could certainly make it there.
And Kavanaugh may help to decide who ultimately wins.