On Friday, September 18th, Lambda Legal will honor two leaders whose public stance against Indiana’s so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) this year elevated public outcry, outlined the costly impact of discrimination on business, and set important standard for corporate leadership on civil rights.
During a Senate subcommittee hearing titled ‘With Prejudice: Supreme Court Activism and Possible Solutions’, 2016 presidential hopeful Ted Cruz and others bashed recent Supreme Court decisions granting the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and ensuring that Affordable Care Act subsidies remain available. Cruz, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts labeled these decisions ‘judicial activism’, and invited witnesses to condemn the Court’s decisions. One witness, Ed Whelan, in written testimony stated: “The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling last month inventing a supposed federal constitutional right to marry a person of the same sex is brazenly lawless. In the flagrancy and magnitude of its errors in overriding, and cutting short, the democratic processes, Obergefell v. Hodges is rivaled in Supreme Court history only by Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) and Roe v. Wade (1973).”
Lambda Legal has a long history of standing up against the discrimination of LGBT people and people living with HIV. While we have had many victories, our community is still impacted by senseless killings, mistreatment by police including profiling and excessive use of force, discrimination in schools and workplaces and other forms of injustice.
In light of the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges which struck down marriage bans nationwide, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated the district court’s ruling in Conde-Vidal v. Rius-Armendariz, that had upheld Puerto Rico’s discriminatory ban.