Right-wing media outlet The Federalist mourned the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision yesterday that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to and protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace. Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was President Donald Trump’s first nominee to the country’s highest court, authored the majority opinion.
The Federalist has existed for years as a clearinghouse of anti-LGBTQ screeds and columns. As Media Matters Editor-at-large Parker Malloy explained after the publication cut ties to freelance contributor Denise McAllister in 2017, The Federalist is “regularly, virulently transphobic.” Less than a year after its 2013 launch, Media Matters reported that The Federalist “count[ed] some of the most notorious anti-LGBT groups among its most ardent fans.” The site often uses misleading article illustrations for articles attacking transgender people and causes, some of which have attempted to directly link transgender identity and child sex abuse.
I want to highlight something about right-wing media and how they portray trans people:
In the left photo is Aimee Stephens, a trans woman and the plaintiff in one of today’s SCOTUS decisions. On the right is how The Federalist depicted her when first writing about her in 2017. pic.twitter.com/hjFmPPQBnc
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 15, 2020
Sean Davis, co-founder of the publication, tweeted in reaction to the ruling: “The Supreme Court is not a court of law. It is a super-legislature run by nine politicians with lifetime tenure. Conservatives need to stop picking justices based on promises from nominees about how they’ll analyze cases and start picking individuals who will vote correctly.”
The Federalist reported the news with the headline, “SCOTUS Upends Civil Rights Act Ruling On Sex Discrimination.” Jordan Davidson, an intern at The Federalist, wrote the article, which stated the ruling was “controversial” and followed 15 years of failed attempts in Congress “to rewrite the definition of the word ‘sex’ into law.” Davidson includes quotes from Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson and Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino, who expressed their disappointment with the ruling.
Joy Pullmann, executive editor at The Federalist, wrote that the ruling would result in the “further degradation of Americans’ natural rights to free speech, to free association, and to worshipping God as their consciences require.” The headline on Pullmann’s article claims that Monday’s ruling “Firebombs” the U.S. Constitution. She writes:
This decision is a disgrace to these bedrocks of Western civilization, our nation built upon them, the voters who vote for them, and to these men’s honor. President Trump ran promising judges who wouldn’t murder America, and Gorsuch just gave him and everyone who voted for him a giant middle finger. The court’s newfound weakness will also be exploited and explored by leftist legal agitators whose goal is the destruction of the American system.
Given all that has happened after Obergefell v. Hodges, which we were vociferously told was ridiculous to forecast — transgenderism immediately going mainstream, pushing religion inside the closet LGBT people were vacating, limiting people’s ability to freely express their faith and ideas, forcing education institutions to promote LGBT politics and behavior — it’s naive to think such scenarios will not quickly become reality as a result of this court decision.
Pullmann goes on to encourage conservatives outraged by the decision to “get on the email lists” of longtime anti-LGBTQ organizations and hate groups.
Chad Felix Greene, a senior contributor to The Federalist who is himself openly gay, argued that the Supreme Court ruling barring employment discrimination against LGBTQ people “may negatively affect LGBT advocacy about transgender rights and social acceptance” in the long term. Green downplays the threat of employment discrimination that LGBTQ people face and attempts to liken the Supreme Court ruling to remarks made by author J.K. Rowling that critics accused of being transphobic. Greene is aggressively transphobic and has taken recently to trolling the LGBTQ community online by repeatedly claiming that he is both transgender and a person of color. Greene writes:
By linking the rights of gay and transgender people to sex, the LGBT left has bound itself to whatever definition “sex” takes on. The more fluid and subjective it becomes, the less firm and predictable rights for gay and transgender people will become. For now, this does not seem to be a concern or even a consideration, as all they can see is victory. But they rarely think these things through to their logical conclusions.