Atlanta, GA – Today, following an attack on the historic Obergefell v. Hodges “Marriage Equality” decision by Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas that signaled an effort to undermine equal dignity for LGBTQ+ people in addition to the Supreme Court taking up a case that could overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, Senior Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church and U.S. Senate candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock issued the following statement:
“One of the brightest moments of 2020 was the Supreme Court’s Bostick ruling which expanded protections for LGBTQ+ employees against discrimination. But this latest attack makes clear that just like health care coverage and pre-existing conditions protections, equal rights for marginalized communities will be on the line,” said Reverend Warnock. “Freedom for one shouldn’t be a threat to another and religious freedom should never be used as an excuse to discriminate. We must stand up for the rights and protections of everyone in Georgia and across the country, including the LGBTQ+ community. As a Senator, I will fight to pass proposals like the Equality Act, which would extend protections to health care coverage, housing, public education and federal funding, and I will only support nominees who support equality.”
Background: The Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on July 12, 2020 finalized a rule that would undo the Obama administration’s 2016 decision to expand the Affordable Care Act’s anti-discrimination provision to include healthcare services for trans people. On July 15, 2020, the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision ruled that LGBTQ Americans are protected from employment discrimination under the law, setting a precedent that would make it difficult for Trump’s HHS to redefine discrimination on the basis of sex to exclude transgender people. Protections for pre-existing conditions, including for LGBTQ+ people who are often among the highest risk, will again be up for debate as the Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments on provisions of the Affordable Care Act on November 10th.
About Reverend Warnock
Reverend Raphael Warnock grew up in Kayton Homes public housing in Savannah. Fourteen years ago, he was chosen to serve as Senior Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the former pulpit of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is only the fifth Senior Pastor in the history of the church and the youngest pastor ever selected to serve in that position. Reverend Warnock believes his service does not stop at the church door, and has been an advocate to expand health care coverage and to ensure hardworking Georgians can make a living wage. As Senator, Reverend Warnock will bring to Washington the concerns of struggling Georgia families who wonder why no one is looking out for them, and focus on fighting for quality, affordable health care, for the dignity of working people who are paid too little as our government works more for Wall Street, and to make sure every voice is heard.
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