Last week we shared about the Supreme Court’s narrow but disastrous ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, and the effects this decision now has for business owners. This week we want to address the two other major issues that the Majority of the court tried to minimize: Religious freedom and girl’s achievements.
How Bostock effects religious freedom:
While we are disappointed with the outcome of the Bostock case, we remain optimistic that this narrow decision dealing with public employment leaves room for future rulings that will take a different approach to protecting religious freedom. And in fact, the decision almost asked for future cases when the Court specifically noted how “doctrines protecting religious liberty interact with Title VII are questions for future cases.”
How Bostock effects girls’ sports and privacy:
When it comes to how this will affect protections for girls and women, we just don’t know yet. One ominous note is that the Majority did indicate that it may not be willing to protect women in other areas of the law. One of those areas is Title IX of the United States Education Act which was clearly enacted to protect women, not men.
This ruling has also diminished the real lived experiences of women all across our country who have fought for the right to vote, to be recognized in the work force, and to have the opportunity compete in sports. This was even noted by Justice Alito in his dissent.
Just this year, our sister organization in Idaho, Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, helped enact a law that protects the ability for girls to compete in sports. The law is now being challenged in court by the ACLU. If you would like to read more about our efforts and support girls’ sports across the nation, visit our Save Girls Sports website and participate in #SaveGirlsSports Week which runs through tomorrow.
Here are some things that Kansas women are saying about #SaveGirlsSports:
Rep Barb Wasinger (R-Dist. 111)
My senior year of high school (1976) I was a member of the Student Council. Before Title IX was implemented in the early 70’s there were very few choices for girls to be involved in athletics.
As a member of the Student Council, I got to be part of discussions of how to implement Title IX effectively for the young women in the District. No one understood how important this was more than I did. Throughout my school years, I was active as a swimmer and competed in the summer months. Yet, I was never able to compete in sports during the school year because swimming wasn’t available for women. We can’t go back to a time when girls had limited opportunities to grow and excel through sports.
I saw these advances play out for my daughter as she was able to play volleyball throughout middle school. The joy of her being able to choose – and be able to compete against other young women was amazing. There is good competition and not unfair competition. We cannot turn back the clock back 48 years and undo the progress we’ve made.”
Rep. Susan Humphries (R-Dist. 99)
“Our daughter Grace was an incredible track athlete. This is photo was taken in 1999, when she got second in state in the long jump. Just imagine if she would have had to compete against a biological boy –she would have given up, and never gone to the AAU Nationals track meet.”
Rep. Kristey Williams (R-77)
“When I was just a young girl, Title IX came into effect to provide equal opportunity for female athletes that attended any school that received federal funding. No longer could schools provide disproportional opportunities for males over females. Fast forward to present day and we now have a movement to reverse this decision by allowing biological males who identify as females to compete against our daughters. I have three daughters and one son and can easily see their innate differences. On so many levels, this is an inequity and an injustice for girls and does nothing to protect their ability to fairly and safely compete. If we really stopped to examine the issue with eyes wide open, there would be no dispute of the facts and the harmful ramifications of allowing this unfair treatment of girls to progress.”
We are so appreciative of each of these women who are willing to speak up for girls. I encourage each of you to join myself and these women by signing our petition and posting on social about #SaveGirlsSports this week!
As a woman, this case only inspired me to fight to protect hard-won victories for girls so that the girls that come after me can have the same opportunities that I have had. More than ever we need to stand up for religious freedom and for the dignity of women. This decision does not get the final word on this topic and we will continue to work to protect the God given dignity of every Kansans to live out their faith.
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy