Some faith groups concerned about impact of SCOTUS LGBTQ Ruling

Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 3:28 PM AKDT
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An Anchorage church says the Supreme Court ruling that protects the rights of gay and transgender workers could affect how some religious groups are viewed.

Pastor Ron Hoffman with the Anchorage Baptist Temple says he’s worried about what the ruling will mean for organizations with religious convictions about the meaning of sex and sexuality.

The SCOTUS ruling now allows "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to be included in the definition of “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Hoffman says many people in his congregation of more than 1,500 Alaskans feel that they’re being discriminated against because of their traditional views.

"It makes it difficult for the church as a whole, it ends up demonizing the church, long term effect is that truthfully, the church will be demonized as a hater, unkind or un-nice, it will impact every aspect of the world view on what church is,” Hoffman said.

Under Title VII, religious organizations are allowed to give employment preference to members of their own faith.

Jim Minnery, an advocate for religious liberty issues says redefining “sex” will create unfairness for women and girls in athletics.

“Men have physical differences than women, regardless of how those men identify, so when that happens, the whole concept of women's sports goes away because of the unfair advantage is given to the males, who compete and are stronger, faster, and so again, it truly has transforms the landscape,” Minnery said.

He believes the ruling isn’t solely about protection for gay and transgender workers.

“That’s not what this is about, really, and that in our view doesn’t happen that much, if it all, and if does, that's wrong, but that’s not what this ruling is mainly about,” he said. “Redefining the word sex, very clear, I think for most people back in 64, that was meant to be male and female, rather than sexual orientation.”

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