How hatred of gay people became a key plank in Hungary’s authoritarian turn

“The new Hungarian regulations on LGBTQ expression are broad. Among other things, they prohibit sex educators from instructing students about LGBTQ sexuality and ban television stations from airing content “popularizing” LGBTQ identity outside the hours of 10 pm to 5 am. The regulations also prohibit films or advertisements from representing same-sex physical acts or gender-affirmation surgery in materials targeted at individuals under 18.

But what counts as “popularizing” LGBTQ identity, and what sorts of art count as being targeted at kids? According to local media and human rights groups, the bill isn’t especially clear on these points — raising fears about censorship. RTL Klub, the country’s largest television channel, warned that “series like Modern Family would be banned, as would some episodes of Friends.”

No less troubling: By declaring LGBTQ programming harmful for children, the law dehumanizes queer couples and individuals, legally codifying the notion that their very existence threatens Hungarian society.”

“This bill is not a one-off. Since coming to power in 2010, Orbán has systematically undermined LGBTQ rights in Hungary. The most significant early move was a constitutional provision banning same-sex marriage enacted in 2012.”

“In December 2020, the government approved a constitutional reform package that strengthened the anti-LGBTQ constitutional provisions: It stated that the family is defined as being “based on marriage and the parent-child relation. The mother is a woman, the father a man.” The December legislative package also banned adoption by same-sex couples and abolished the Equal Treatment Authority, Hungary’s most important nondiscrimination agency covering LGBTQ rights.”

An epic Supreme Court showdown over religion and LGBTQ rights ends in a whimper

“Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a case involving a Catholic group that objects to placing foster children with same-sex couples, was widely expected to be a sweeping victory for the religious right, and a correspondingly significant defeat for LGBTQ rights. Instead, the Court’s opinion dodges nearly all of the important issues raised by the case.
It’s still a small win for religious conservatives and a similarly small loss for the LGBTQ community in Philadelphia. But the Court’s decision is unlikely to have many implications outside of that city. And it hits pause on a fight to overrule a landmark Supreme Court decision from over three decades ago — most likely because, as Justice Amy Coney Barrett notes in a concurring opinion, several of the justices aren’t sure what to do next if that decision is overruled.”

“The plaintiffs in Fulton, moreover, also asked the Supreme Court to overrule its seminal decision in Employment Division v. Smith (1990), which held that religious objectors must follow “neutral law[s] of general applicability.” Under Smith, a religious objector typically is bound by a state or local law so long as it applies with equal force to non-religious actors — so, if secular organizations are forbidden from discriminating, the same rule will generally apply to religious organizations.

But neither of these important questions was resolved in Fulton. While Justice Samuel Alito penned a lengthy opinion calling for Smith to be overruled, that opinion was joined by only Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.

The remainder of the Court joined a much narrower majority opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, which rules in favor of CSS, but on grounds that are unlikely to have many implications for future cases.”

“this argument relies solely on the text of Philadelphia’s particular ordinance.”

As Generation Z Comes of Age, America Is Getting Noticeably More LGBT

“Only 1.8 percent of Gen Xers identify as bisexual. A full 11.5 percent of Gen Z adults identify the same way. And there’s a much greater number of millennial and Gen Z adults identifying as transgender than previous generations, though it’s still a fairly small percentage.”

“for a significant amount of American history, especially the late 20th century, our culture has treated LGBT people as dangerous or deviant and therefore individuals were encouraged to suppress or just not act on non-heterosexual attractions. There’s been an absolutely dramatic shift in acceptance of LGBT people over the past 20 years and so it should not be surprising to see a greater percentage of young adults willing to identify as LGBT.
The increase in the number of LGBT self-identification is a positive result of allowing people to define themselves and their sexual identities absent government pressures forcing them to conform to majority preferences in order to enjoy the same rights granted to everyone else.”

The Supreme Court’s landmark LGBTQ rights decision, explained in 5 simple sentences

“Bostock is, undoubtedly, a major victory for LGBTQ rights — before Bostock, it was still legal for employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in most states.

But it is unclear whether Bostock will entirely ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s because the Court is also considering whether to grant employers with religious objections to LGBTQ people an exemption from anti-discrimination laws.”

“Gorsuch is a vocal proponent of “textualism,” the belief that the meaning of a law turns on its words alone, not on the intentions of the law’s drafters.”

“In Bostock, the Court considered Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids employment discrimination that occurs “because of [an employee’s] race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Though there is little doubt that the people who drafted this law in 1964 did not believe they were enacting a ban on LGBTQ discrimination, the thrust of Gorsuch’s opinion is that the expectations of lawmakers in 1964 simply do not matter.
Only the text of Title VII matters. And, as Bostock explains at length, that text clearly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Gorsuch lays out why in just five crisp sentences on the first page of his majority opinion:

” In Title VII, Congress outlawed discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.””

“a 6-3 opinion. Both Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, and Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush, joined the majority. Roberts joined Gorsuch’s opinion in full and did not write a separate opinion. Neither man has shown much sympathy for LGBTQ rights plaintiffs in the past.”

“the sheer force of the plaintiffs’ textual arguments in Bostock appears to have weighed heavily on both men. At the very least, Bostock suggests that this conservative Supreme Court can follow the clear text of a law, even when that reading points in a liberal direction.”

“”Consider, for example, an employer with two employees, both of whom are attracted to men. The two individuals are, to the employer’s mind, materially identical in all respects, except that one is a man and the other a woman. If the employer fires the male employee for no reason other than the fact he is attracted to men, the employer discriminates against him for traits or actions it tolerates in his female colleague.””

“”Or take an employer who fires a transgender person who was identified as a male at birth but who now identifies as a female. If the employer retains an otherwise identical employee who was identified as female at birth, the employer intentionally penalizes a person identified as male at birth for traits or actions that it tolerates in an employee identified as female at birth. Again, the individual employee’s sex plays an unmistakable and impermissible role in the discharge decision.””

“The text of the law is the only thing that matters in Bostock. As Gorsuch concludes his opinion, “ours is a society of written laws,” and that means that “judges are not free to overlook plain statutory commands on the strength of nothing more than suppositions about intentions or guesswork about expectations.” Because Congress “adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee’s sex when deciding to fire that employee,” the Court must hold that anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace is illegal.”