Advocates await possible LGBTQ cases to go before Supreme Court

Thu. July 1, 2021 10:03 AM by Gerald Farinas

u.s. supreme court interior

photo credit // phil roeder
Chicago, IL - Fresh from a Supreme Court decision that ruled in favor of the Catholic Church's right to discriminate against same-sex parents from fostering children in Philadelphia, LGBTQ advocates are awaiting news of other potential cases that could be appealed to the Supreme Court. Depending on how broad the decisions, rulings by the Supreme Court would set precedents that would last for generations.

Conservatives would like the High Court to take the Arlene's Flowers v. Washington case, hoping Trump-appointed justices will tip the balance of the Court in their favor. They argue that Barronelle Stutzman had a right to refuse to create a floral arrangement for the same-sex wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. Her refusal violates the State of Washington's nondiscrimination law, according to the state Attorney General's office.

Stutzman says her religious freedom is being impeded if forced to sell a product she creates to be used in a same-sex marriage, which she does not believe in. She also said her First Amendment right to artistic expression is being abbrogated.

Conservatives would also like the High Court to take the case of Jesse Hammons v. University of Maryland Medical System.

Hammons, a transgender man, was scheduled to receive a hysterectomy, one of the several gender-affirming medical interventions available to people.

Though affiliated with University of Maryland, St. Joseph Medical Center has a Catholic affiliation. The hospital discovered that the procedure was for gender affirmation and afterward, cancelled the surgery.

Attorneys argue that Hammons was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and gender-affirming medical interventions are a medically necessary treatment for it. They also say that medical insurance providers have determined its necessity by covering it. In fact, Medicare and Maryland Medicaid cover its costs.

Furthermore, the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, all agree that this is a medically necessary procedure for gender dysphoria.

Because this surgery is medically necessary, St. Joseph Medical Center has an obligation to perform it.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops argue that their religious freedom is under attack and it needs to be defended by the Supreme Court justices.