In a ringing 13-minute denunciation of the Supreme Court’s Bostock sex discrimination decision, the youngest man in the U.S. Senate urged America’s religious conservatives to demand a new “bargain” from Republican leaders as a condition for their future support.
“If this case makes anything clear, it is that the bargain that has been offered to religious conservatives for years now is a bad one, it’s time to reject it,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) declared on the Senate floor June 16.
“The bargain has never been explicitly articulated, but religious conservatives know what it is,” Hawley said. “The bargain is you go along with the party establishment, you support their policies and priorities, or just keep your mouth shut about it, and in return, the establishment will put some judges on the bench who supposedly will protect your constitutional rights to freedom of worship, to freedom of exercise.
“That’s what we’ve been told for years now, and we were told that we’re supposed to shut up while the party establishment focuses more on cutting taxes and handing out favors for corporations, multinational corporations who don’t share our values, who will not stand up for American principles, who are only too happy to ship American jobs overseas.
“But we’re supposed to say nothing about that, we’re supposed to keep our mouths shut, because maybe we’ll get a judge out of the deal.”
Hawley’s ire was sparked by the high court’s June 15 decision in the Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia case in which by a 6–3 vote, the justices said the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s bar against sex discrimination in hiring isn’t limited to biologically determined sex but also covers sexual orientation and gender identity (including gender change).