Brooklyn Bar Association responds to Supreme Court decisions on Affirmative Action and LGBTQ+ Rights

July 5, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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In light of recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court affecting affirmative action and LGBTQ+ rights, the Brooklyn Bar Association (BBA) has voiced its deep concerns. These decisions, according to the BBA, pose significant challenges to progress in addressing historical racial inequalities and discrimination against same-sex couples.

The first ruling, 20-1199 Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (June 29, 2023), deals a blow to affirmative action initiatives, potentially obstructing attempts to rectify historical racial injustices in education. The second, 21-476 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis (June 30, 2023), supports the right of businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples, thereby appearing to sanction discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.

“The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued two decisions that, in essence, impede efforts to remedy historical racial injustices in education (20-1199 Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (06/29/2023) (supremecourt.gov)  and endorse discrimination against same-sex couples ( 21-476 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis (06/30/2023) (supremecourt.gov),” said a statement issued by the BBA.

“In response, the Brooklyn Bar Association echoes the words of Justice Sonia Sotomayor in her dissent to the affirmative action decision: ‘Notwithstanding this Court’s actions, however, society’s progress toward equality cannot be permanently halted. Diversity is now a fundamental American value, housed in our varied and multicultural American community that only continues to grow.’”

The statement was written by Joy Thompson, chair of the BBA’s diversity committee, on behalf of the organization with the support of President Joseph Rosato.

Thompson emphasized the BBA’s unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity, as outlined in its Diversity Statement. She also highlighted the BBA’s ongoing recognition of individuals and organizations championing diversity through the Lynn Terrelonge Bridge to Diversity Awards and explained that despite these contentious Supreme Court rulings, the BBA remains steadfast in its pledge to uphold diversity and challenge discrimination in all its forms.

These decisions have ignited nationwide debates about the delicate balance between equality, civil liberties, and freedom of speech and religion.


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