We support the Supreme Court decision establishing that same sex marriage is a constitutional right. We, also, support the Court’s view that existing labor law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We believe that the courts will have to resolve those rare cases in which freedom of religion and speech are legitimately in conflict with these rights. We believe that good faith efforts can resolve issues regarding fair participation of transgender women in competitive sports. We oppose trying to resolve these issues legislatively.
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Same Sex Marriage
We believe that the Supreme Court’s decision establishing a constitutional right to marriage regardless of sexual orientation was justified. Our feeling is that this outcome was, for all practical purposes, inevitable. If the court had not decided that a constitutional right to same sex marriage existed, it would have decided that states were obligated to enforce marriage contracts entered into in other states. In the end this would, eventually, have led to the same outcome. The cases against a constitutional right to same sex marriage had some merit but, in our view the majority position of the court was good constitutional law. In any case, it is now settled law and it is time to move on.
Conflicts with Freedom of Speech and Religion
We do not support laws requiring all vendors to provide services for same sex marriages, if they object to doing so. Some courts have drawn a fine line on this issue suggesting that vendors of off-the-shelf items should be required to serve all who come, but that those who produce customized, or artistic items be exempt on the basis of freedom of speech and religion. We are not sure how practical this distinction is, but it does not seem unreasonable on its face.
We could be persuaded to change our position, on vendors’ rights and responsibilities, if there was evidence of broad based discrimination against same sex couples that made it difficult for them to receive these services in the absence of government intervention. That kind of evidence was abundant, with respect to African-Americans, prior to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. We are not persuaded that the same situation exists today for same sex couples.
The Supreme Court has skirted this issue on a couple of occasions. Eventually, the Supreme Court may be forced to deal with the question, if multiple appellate courts take diametrically opposed positions on the issue. We would recommend that Congress steer clear of the issue in the meantime.
The Supreme Court has decided that existing anti-discrimination employment laws apply to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We support this decision.
This issue is complicated. We believe that our society is better off for its more open acceptance of trans men and women.
We believe that their is a role for government in protecting this minority from hate crimes and systematic discrimination.
We believe that gender identity is fluid and exists on a continuum. We also believe that biological, gender-based differences exist. The NCAA and the Olympics have wrestled with the extent to which these differences impact competitive athletics. They appear to have come to the conclusion that having been born male does not, in itself, confer an unfair advantage to transgender women.
Resolving this issue at the level of high school athletics may prove more complicated, because the athletes may be at an earlier stage of transition. We would recommend against attempts to resolve the issue legislatively.
Some cisgendered women are uncomfortable, or even threatened, by having to share locker rooms or bathrooms with transgendered women. Conversely, transgendered women may be uncomfortable, or even threatened, by having to share facilities with cisgendered men. Sometimes, there are simple solutions to these issues, like unisex single user bathrooms. But sometimes that is just not possible. We hope that this issue will disappear over time as experience makes us more comfortable with the new norms. Until that time, we recommend against attempting to resolve the issue legislatively.