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02/01/2017 01:59 pm ET Updated Feb 01, 2017

LGBTQ Groups Blast Trump's Supreme Court Pick Neil Gorsuch

The judge's praise for Antonin Scalia is ominous, they say.

Twelve days into his unquestionably chaotic tenure, President Donald Trump sparked the ire of liberal voters once again by nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. 

Though Trump touted Gorsuch for having “earned bipartisan support,” much of the Democratic pushback so far has stemmed from the fact that Republicans refused to consider Merrick Garland, who was former President Barack Obama’s pick for the seat of the late Antonin Scalia, for nearly a year. 

Trump’s choice of Gorsuch, a conservative federal appeals judge in Colorado, received a chilly response from LGBTQ groups in particular. Though his background on queer issues is limited, Gorsuch famously sided with the conservative Christian owners of Hobby Lobby, who sued the federal government in 2013 after seeking an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, citing their religious faith. He’s also been an outspoken admirer of Scalia, who was staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ rights.

A number of advocacy groups, including GLAAD and PFLAG, decried the judge’s nomination almost immediately. The president’s choice of Gorsuch, officials wrote, re-affirmed their doubts regarding his views on the LGBTQ community as a whole. 

“Numerous times in the last 11 days we have shared our concern that civil rights―for the LGBTQ community, for women, for immigrants, for people of color, for all marginalized communities―would erode under this administration,” Interim Executive Director Elizabeth Kohm wrote in a statement on PFLAG’s website. “Now, with his nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for a lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court, it is clear our concerns were more than justified.” Added American Civil Liberties Union’s Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, “Gorsuch’s record, including his decision in the Hobby Lobby case, raises questions about whether he would allow businesses and individuals to opt out of nondiscrimination laws based on religious objections.”

Think Progress’s LGBT Editor Zack Ford felt similarly, tweeting:  

See how other LGBTQ advocacy groups responded to Gorsuch’s nomination below. 

  • Human Rights Campaign
    “Never in the history of our movement have we had more at stake as a community, or as a country. Since the moment he st
    Bloomberg via Getty Images
    “Never in the history of our movement have we had more at stake as a community, or as a country. Since the moment he stepped foot in the Oval Office, President Trump has attacked equality. He has signed executive orders that undermine our country’s most cherished values and appointed anti-LGBTQ cabinet nominees who have spent their careers undermining civil rights. And now, he has nominated Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, fulfilling his campaign promise to nominate a justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia, one of the most vehemently anti-LGBTQ justices to ever sit on the court who once went so far as to compare gay people to murderers." -- President Chad Griffin
  • National LGBTQ Task Force
    “Judge Neil Gorsuch’s record reveals a jurist who: believes that bosses should control their employees’ pri
    Tom Williams via Getty Images
    “Judge Neil Gorsuch’s record reveals a jurist who: believes that bosses should control their employees’ private health care decisions; supports the misuse of religion to legalize discrimination; and holds LGBTQ equality with disdain. He is also a darling of those who are vehemently opposed to marriage equality. He seems like someone who aligns perfectly with Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s view of the world, but is completely out of touch with the realities of most people’s lives.” -- Executive Director Rea Carey
  • GLAAD
    “He has record of advocating for anti-LGBTQ rhetoric or supporting candidates that are in favor of open discrimination
    Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
    “He has record of advocating for anti-LGBTQ rhetoric or supporting candidates that are in favor of open discrimination against people and families who simply want to be treated the same as everyone else. Gorsuch’s presence on the Supreme Court will affect the law of the land for generations to come – long after Trump is out of office, and will turn back the clock on equality and acceptance.” -- GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis
  • Freedom For All Americans
    "It is the obligation of the Supreme Court as the legal arbiter of the nation to protect all Americans under the mandates of
    Bill Clark via Getty Images
    "It is the obligation of the Supreme Court as the legal arbiter of the nation to protect all Americans under the mandates of the U.S. Constitution, and that includes treating LGBT Americans with fairness and respect. We urge the Senate Judiciary Committee not to move Gorsuch's nomination to the Senate floor. With a record of defending religious liberty at the cost of infringing on individual liberties, Gorsuch's confirmation could mean the rollback of basic freedoms and crucial protections for vulnerable LGBT people across America." -- Executive Director Matt McTighe
  • GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
    "I didn’t expect I would be happy about tonight’s announcement, but I have to tell you that I have grave concerns
    Joshua Roberts / Reuters
    "I didn’t expect I would be happy about tonight’s announcement, but I have to tell you that I have grave concerns about Judge Gorsuch’s record... Judge Gorsuch has expressed skepticism about the judiciary’s role in defining and protecting constitutional liberties and freedoms that are central to LGBTQ equality and reproductive health care. He has wrongly and anemically interpreted the Constitution to make it harder for individuals to seek equal protection under the law. And he has expressed hostility to our progressive movements’ use of the judicial process to safeguard constitutional liberties and protections for all." -- Executive Director Janson Wu
  • Lambda Legal
    “The Hobby Lobby decision set a terrible and destructive standard for bosses being allowed to meddle in our sex lives a
    Alex Wong via Getty Images
    “The Hobby Lobby decision set a terrible and destructive standard for bosses being allowed to meddle in our sex lives and decide whether or not birth control is covered by the employer’s insurance plan... We absolutely must not confirm a Supreme Court nominee who has ruled that the religious beliefs of employers can trump the law. It is a short hop from birth control restrictions to restrictions on the intimate relationships and health care needs of LGBT people.” -- Rachel B. Tiven, CEO
  • The SF LGBT Center
    "From the day Mr. Trump took office, his chaotic and dishonest administration has worked overtime to undermine and divide our
    Joshua Roberts / Reuters
    "From the day Mr. Trump took office, his chaotic and dishonest administration has worked overtime to undermine and divide our communities. The nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is just another example of his contempt for women, LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, and the environment." -- Executive Director Rebecca Rolfe 
  • One Colorado
    “Religious freedom is a core American value that we all cherish, and it is already protected by the Constitution. Attem
    Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
    “Religious freedom is a core American value that we all cherish, and it is already protected by the Constitution. Attempts to give a license to discriminate through religious exemptions are contrary to the notion that we should treat others as we wish to be treated and scores of faith leaders have spoken out against such policies — including last week here in Colorado. A Supreme Court that would rule in support of religious exemptions would certainly open LGBTQ Americans up to discrimination and open up a can of worms that could allow individuals to ignore child welfare, domestic violence, or other laws that someone could contend is contrary to their religion." -- Executive Director Daniel Ramos
  • Los Angeles LGBT Center
    "His judicial philosophy and record is as out of the mainstream as any nominee could be, and the fact that he describes himse
    Carlos Barria / Reuters
    "His judicial philosophy and record is as out of the mainstream as any nominee could be, and the fact that he describes himself as the ‘second coming of Antonin Scalia’—the most notoriously anti-LGBT Justice to ever serve on the nation’s highest court—should be alarming to all. We urge all fair-minded people to call their senators and urge them to conduct an extreme vetting of Judge Gorsuch. If he cannot unequivocally say that the Supreme Court’s decisions upholding the constitutional freedom and equality of LGBT people over the last 20 years are—and will—remain the law of the land, then he must be rejected.” -- Lorri L. Jean, CEO
  • Equality California
    "Across the country, we’re currently facing an onslaught of so-called religious freedom bills that give individuals or
    Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
    "Across the country, we’re currently facing an onslaught of so-called religious freedom bills that give individuals or businesses permission to deny services to LGBT people in the name of religion. They give people a pretext to discriminate against LGBT people. Donald Trump has expressed support for similar policies. It’s more important than ever to ensure that justices – who support full equality and constitutional principles like the separation of church and state – are appointed to the Supreme Court." -- Executive Director Rick Zbur
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