Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
on Friday refused to say whether it should be legal to fire a person
because of their sexual orientation.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, a
Democrat, asked Kavanaugh whether it would “be wrong to fire a gay
“In my workplace, I hire people
because of their talents and abilities,” Kavanaugh answered.
“Morally, you think it's right to
hire people, it doesn't matter their background,” Booker said. “Do
[employers] have a legal right to fire someone just because they're
gay, in your opinion?”
Kavanaugh answered that he would rather
not discuss the issue because it was currently being litigated.
“The question, as I'm sure you're
aware, of the scope of employment discrimination laws being litigated
right now and therefore,” Kavanaugh replied. “Well, I'd like to
talk to you about this more. Because that issue is in a variety of
cases right now, it would be inconsistent, as I'm sure you can
Booker reminded Kavanaugh that “we
still have a majority of the states where .. you can fire somebody
because they're gay.”
“I guess you're not willing to tell
me whether you personally, morally now, think that that's right or
wrong,” he added.
“I'm a judge, and with the cases that
you're well aware of now pending in the courts about the scope of the
civil rights laws, the employment discrimination laws – of course,
Congress can always make that clear,” Kavanaugh said.
“That's what I want to get to the
point that you won't give me a moral answer because of the pending
cases?” Booker asked.
“Right,” Kavanaugh replied.
The exchange came a day after Kavanaugh
refused to say whether the high court's 2015 decision striking down
state laws that excluded gay and lesbian couples from marriage was
Kavanaugh refuses to answer Kamala Harris' marriage equality
Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD,
criticized Kavanaugh's responses to questions related to LGBT
“Judge Kavanaugh refuses to answer
simple questions on the dignity of LGBTQ Americans and is unfit to
serve on the Supreme Court,” Ellis said in a statement. “With
the world watching, Kavanaugh refused to tell LGBTQ Americans that we
deserve equal protections under the law and Congress should take
action before appointing him to a lifetime position where he will no
doubt work to undermine our basic rights to liberty and justice.”