Religion Unplugged

Landmark LGBT ruling: What it means for exemptions, evangelicals and the election

By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged

Editor’s note: Every Friday, “Weekend Plug-In” features analysis, insights and top headlines from the world of faith. Got feedback or ideas for this column? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling Monday barring workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender workers certainly seemed to catch some by surprise.

Take USA Today, for example.

The URL on the national newspaper’s story indicates that the court denied protection to LGBT workers. Oops!

Kelsey Dallas, national religion reporter for the Salt Lake City-based Deseret News, closely follows high court cases with faith-based ramifications.

“Genuinely shocked,” she tweeted concerning the 6-3 decision. “I had prewritten only one version of this story and predicted a ruling against gay and transgender workers based on debate during oral arguments.”

Why was Dallas so surprised?

I asked her that in a Zoom discussion that also included Elana Schor, national religion and politics reporter for The Associated Press; Daniel Silliman, news editor for Christianity Today; and Bob Smietana, editor-in-chief of Religion News Service.

Watch the video to hear Dallas’ reasoning. (Hint: It’s not just that Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion.)

Learn, too, what all the panelists think the decision means for religious hiring practices, the court’s 5-4 conservative split and the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Read the full column.

This column is published each Friday by Religion Unplugged and Religion News Service.

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