As members of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, we write to voice our vehement opposition to the nomination and arbitrary confirmation process of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States. Since its founding in 1985, the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association has worked to promote the advancement of the LGBTQ+ legal community throughout the state. Our organization does so in a variety of ways, including promoting the fair and just treatment of the LGBTQ+ community under law, collaborating with other affinity bar associations to advocate for underrepresented communities, and encouraging representation of the LGBTQ community in the judiciary.
Today we face an historic crisis. COVID-19 has left the world reeling from social isolation, job loss, and a devastating incidence of illness and death. In this time of suffering, our country should be able to look to its leaders for stability and assistance. We are deeply troubled to see instead a myopic political polarization spurring an erratic and imprudent Supreme Court nomination.
Never before has a nomination been considered so close in time to an election. Never before has a nomination been propelled so rapidly through the process, leaving scant time to vet adequately the nominee’s legal acumen or evaluate their objectivity and commitment to the rule of law.
We have grave concerns regarding Judge Barrett’s bias against the LGBTQ+ community and that this process has not given our elected officials sufficient time to comprehend the threat her stances pose to human rights in our country. Her public skepticism of Obergefell v. Hodges, which granted the right to same-sex marriages nationwide, and Bostock v. Clayton County, which extended Title VII workplace protections to the LGBTQ+ community, suggests a disturbing willingness to disregard precedent in favor of a political agenda to strip LGBTQ+ persons of equal protection under the law.
Further, Judge Barrett’s personal demeanor towards the LGBTQ+ community is an affront; during her confirmation hearing, she repeatedly mis-gendered a transgender individual and minimized the innate nature of sexual orientation and gender identity. She has participated in multiple trainings funded by an anti-LGBTQ+ organization that has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Judge Barrett’s conduct and associations show a disdain for LGBTQ+ persons that is undignified and inappropriate to be exhibited by a member of our highest court.
This nomination is a threat to the fair and just treatment of the LGBTQ+ community under the law. A candidate with such clear biases should not be rushed through to a lifetime appointment; we vigorously oppose this haphazard proceeding and urge that Amy Coney Barrett not be confirmed to the Supreme Court.