If you ever find yourself struggling to comprehend what's happening at the Supreme Court, just check in with Jonathan Van Ness. The Queer Eye star has made a name for himself as one heck of a curious researcher, thanks in no small part to his podcast Getting Curious. And, of course, one of the biggest cases to be argued in front of the Supreme Court at the moment directly affects him and so many others. On Tuesday, Van Ness shared his thoughts on LGBTQ rights at the center of multiple Supreme Court cases and delivered a crucial message in the process. A rally cry, a call to action. And perhaps just as importantly, Van Ness helpfully took to Instagram to break down exactly what's happening in these cases for people who are also getting curious.
On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court began to hear arguments about whether or not Title VII, a 1964 civil rights law passed to protect employees from discrimination based on sex, should also encapsulate discrimination based on sexual orientation and sexual identity. The three cases being heard involve two employees who were fired because they were gay and another who was fired based on gender identity. If the Supreme Court decides in favor of the fired employees, this would be a landmark case protecting the rights of LGBTQ workers on a federal level. If not... well, perhaps Van Ness explains it best.
This week, Van Ness shared a photo of himself standing on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. with a long message to his followers where he attempted to offer some clarity about exactly what is happening at the Supreme Court right now. That these three cases are about more than three people who lost their jobs; this is the moment when the Supreme Court could make a historic decision either to protect the rights of LGBTQ workers or potentially agree with the decision of the Trump/Pence administration to exclude them from the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
"We have a president, Senator from Kentucky, and a justice department that is determined to allow discrimination anywhere possible in the United States," Van Ness wrote on Instagram.
Van Ness went on to remind people that they need to pay attention to what's going on in the news, because apathy is not a choice everyone gets to make in this world. "Pay attention to your politicians on twitter. Open your eyes and take in information around you. If you don’t 'watch the news' that’s a privilege many of us can’t afford, if you are an ally be aware, and be ready to fight like hell," Van Ness wrote.
The Over The Top author's message to "fight like hell" was met with support from his followers. People who appreciated that Van Ness was willing to stand up and speak his mind in defense of LGBTQ rights. As one social media user wrote, "While other 'woke' celebs release yet another round of lipsticks, here we have a true hero using his fame and platform to fight against injustice. You are truly inspiring."
It's not easy to stay present, stay focused, and stay passionate about what's going on all the time. It can be tiring and overwhelming and just easier to switch off sometimes. But as Van Ness pointed out, not everyone has the luxury of switching off. Remember that. And fight like hell.