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Former Employee of SCOTUS Nom Says His Ex-Boss Is No Homophobe

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A gay former employee of Neil Gorsuch says he congratulated him on his wedding.

Nbroverman

A former law clerk of conservative Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch says his one-time boss is not homophobic and actually congratulated him on his 2014 marriage.

"[Gorsuch] said, 'This is a wonderful thing," Josh Goodbaum told The Huffington Post. "'You'll see how your relationship grows.'"

Goodbaum, who worked for the Colorado federal appeals court judge in 2009, says "I have never felt the least whiff from him of homophobia or intolerance toward gay people."

Many Cabinet nominees of President Trump have seen similar stories emerge -- from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Education Secretary nominee Besty DeVos -- with people claiming their homophobic and transphobic records don't match their personal sentiments. Gorsuch has been described as conservative as LGBT nemesis Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court justice who died last year and who's seat Gorsuch would fill.

In his rulings, Gorsuch has showed a strong tendency to favor corporations over individuals and a steady support of "religious freedom," often viewed as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people and women. Gorsuch joined in the 2013 Hobby Lobby decision that said corporations do not have to pay for contraception for their employees.

Gorsuch's LGBT-related decisions are scant, but telling. Two opinions that he joined in on showed a possible hostility to transgender rights. In 2015's Druley v. Patton, Gorsuch "joined an unpublished opinion ruling against a transgender inmate's constitutional claims seeking hormone treatment and re-assignment from an all-male facility," according to the Williams Institute. In 2009's Kastl v. Maricopa County Community College District, Gorsuch, "sitting by designation on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, joined an unpublished opinion that, while recognizing that a transgender person can state a claim for sex discrimination under Title VII based on a theory of gender stereotyping, ultimately ruled against the plaintiff. The employer had barred the plaintiff from using the female restroom until completing gender-confirmation surgery. The court held that 'restroom safety' was a non-discriminatory reason for the employer's decision."

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.