Federal judge in Texas mifepristone ruling also has concerning record on LGBTQ rights
Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk once referred to marriage equality advocates as ‘sexual revolutionaries,’ and even Susan Collins wouldn’t vote for him.
The Texas federal judge who ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to withdraw its 23-year-old approval of the abortion drug mifepristone has a long history of anti-LGBTQ stances in addition to his clear anti-abortion views.
Matthew Kacsmaryk, the sole judge in the Amarillo division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, ruled this past October that Biden administration guidance requiring employers to provide protections for LGBTQ employees went too far.
That guidance stemmed from the 2020 Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against sex discrimination applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A year after the ruling, the Biden administration put out guidance stating that it was discriminatory for employers to prevent trans employees from using bathrooms and pronouns consistent with their identities.
Kacsmaryk vacated that guidance, ruling that while the Civil Rights Act might bar discrimination against LGBTQ people, it does not apply to “necessarily all correlated conduct.”
Salon reported in 2019 that Kacsmaryk had made a variety of statements against the LGBTQ community over the years, including saying in 2015 that the LGBTQ civil rights movement “has been typified by lawlessness and a complete refusal to obey basic rule of law principles.”
The same year, he wrote an essay published by the conservative Witherspoon Institute think tank’s journal Public Discourse in which he criticized Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
“On June 26, five justices of the Supreme Court found an unwritten ‘fundamental right’ to same-sex marriage hiding in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment—a secret knowledge so cleverly concealed in the nineteenth-century amendment that it took almost 150 years to find,” he wrote in the 2015 essay. “Facebook and the White House were awash in rainbow flags proclaiming the arrival of ‘marriage equality.’”
Also in 2015, he wrote an op-ed for the National Catholic Register sharply criticizing LGBTQ Americans.
“In this century, sexual revolutionaries are litigating and legislating to remove the fourth and final pillar of marriage law: sexual difference and complementarity,” Kacsmaryk wrote. “The campaigns for same-sex ‘marriage’ and ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ (SOGI) legislation share a common legal theory: Rules predicated on the sexual difference and complementarity of man and woman are relics of a benighted legal regime designed to harm ‘LGBT’ persons, or at least deny them ‘full equality.’”
Before he was appointed a federal judge, Kacsmaryk worked as general counsel for the conservative First Liberty Institute, which the Texas Observer described in 2019 as a Christian legal advocacy group that has defended anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers and county clerks who resist issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
Kacsmaryk’s 2019 nomination to the federal judiciary was opposed by 75 LGBTQ advocacy organizations, which described him as an anti-LGBT activist in a letter to Sens. Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein, then the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Mr. Kacsmaryk was nominated to the federal bench alongside his former FLI colleague Jeff Mateer, who described transgender children as part of ‘Satan’s plan,’” Lambda Legal and the dozens of other LGBTQ rights groups said in the letter. “Like Mr. Mateer, Mr. Kacsmaryk’s history of targeting those who do not live according to his particular social and religious beliefs calls into doubt his ability to administer fair and impartial justice.”
Kacsmaryk’s nomination to the judiciary was even opposed by Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who said the man, who had no judicial experience before his 2019 appointment, had an “alarming bias against LGBTQ Americans and disregard for Supreme Court precedents.”
Kacsmaryk was confirmed by a Senate vote of 52-46 in June 2019.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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