Advertisement

YCQM: June 21, 2020

(WCAX)
Published: Jun. 20, 2020 at 8:40 PM EDT
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

>> Darren: AND GOOD MORNING,

EVERYONE.

I'M DARREN PERRON.

RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME,"

WHAT DOES SEX MEAN?

THE SUPREME COURT ANSWERS IN A

LANDMARK RULING THAT PROTECTS

THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY FROM

WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION.

WE'LL GET ANALYSIS FROM AN

ATTORNEY WHO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN

THE FIGHT FOR CIVIL UNIONS AND

GAY MARRIAGE IN VERMONT.

ALSO, A NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATOR

WONDERS WHY CHINA NEEDED TO

SUPPLY THE U.S. WITH PPE DURING

THE PANDEMIC.

HEAR THE EXCHANGE.

AND WHAT WOULD POLICING LOOK

LIKE IN BURLINGTON IF THE FORCE

WAS CUT BY 30%?

THIS MORNING, I'LL TALK TO

DEPUTY CHIEF JON MURAD, BUT

FIRST, CHANNEL 3'S DOM AMATO

TAKES A CLOSER LOOK AT THE

PROPOSAL BY RACIAL JUSTICE

ADVOCATES TO CUT THE NUMBER OF

COPS.

>> IT WOULD BE A HUGE LOSS FOR

OUR AGENCY.

>> Dom: THE BURLINGTON POLICE

DEPARTMENT FACE AND 10% DECREASE

IN NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET UNDER A

PLAN PUT FORWARD THIS WEEK BY

THE MAYOR.

ACCORDING TO DEPUTY CHIEF

MATTHEW SULLIVAN, THAT CUT IS

DOABLE, BUT HE SAYS IT'S THE

MAXIMUM THE DEPARTMENT COULD

HANDLE BEFORE SOME SERVICES

WOULD HAVE TO BE ELIMINATED.

REDUCING THE FORCE BY A FULL

30%, OR CUTTING 18 OFFICERS IN

ADDITION TO THE 12 VACANCIES THE

MAYOR WANTS TO LEAVE OPEN IS NOT

SOMETHING THEY'RE COMFORTABLE

WITH.

>> WE REALLY WOULD JUST HAVE TO

RESPOND TO CALLS FOR SERVICE

THAT INVOLVED PUBLIC SAFETY.

>> Dom: SULLIVAN SAYS NEARLY ALL

OF THEIR CALLS INCLUDE SOME

ASPECT OF SOCIAL WORK.

THE VERMONT RACIAL JUSTICE

ALLIANCE, WHICH IS PUSHING THE

DEEPER CUTS, SAYS LEAVE THE

SOCIAL WORK TO SOCIAL WORKERS.

>> WHAT WE'VE SEEN TIME AND TIME

AGAIN IN BURLINGTON AND VERMONT

AND IN THE COUNTRY THAT IS

POLICE ARE NOT BEST TO

FACILITATE THAT.

SAFETY OF THEMSELVES OR THE

PERSON EXPERIENCING CRISIS.

>> Dom: BUT POLICE SAY THEY ARE

RESPONDING TO MENTAL HEALTH

CRISES TO PROVIDE SAFETY AND

SUPPORT FOR THOSE SOCIAL

WORKERS.

THEY BELIEVE ELIMINATING

POSITIONS AT THE DEPARTMENT

WITHOUT MORE PLANS IN PLACE IS

DANGEROUS.

>> YOU HAVEN'T BUILT UP THE

SOCIAL SERVICES YET TO BE ABLE

TO SUPPORT IT, AND AGAIN, THOSE

SOCIAL SERVICES, WHENEVER

THERE'S A PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE,

THEY RELY ON US TO PROVIDE THEM

WITH THE SAFETY SO THEY CAN

INTERACT SAFELY WITH THE

INDIVIDUAL THEY'RE TRYING TO

PROVIDE SERVICES FOR.

>> Dom: REFORM ADVOCATES ARGUE

INVESTING UP FRONT IN SOCIAL

SERVICES COULD REDUCE DEMANDS ON

POLICE AND THE FEWER COPS ON THE

STREETS COULD HELP BREAK DOWN

THE CULTURE OF PUNISHMENT THAT

DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED

PEOPLE OF COLOR.

THE RACIAL EQUITY ALLIANCE

PUSHES BACK AGAINST A GO SLOW

APPROACH.

>> IT NEEDED TO HAPPEN LONG

BEFORE THIS, SO SAYING, OH, WE

NEED TO DO SLOWLY.

NO, WE NEED TO DO THIS

IMMEDIATELY.

>> Dom: THE ADVOCACY GROUP HAD

CALLED FOR A 30% REDUCTION IN

OFFICERS AS WELL AS INVEST MORE

CAPITAL INTO PEOPLE OF

COLOR-OWNED BUSINESSES AND TRACK

RACIAL EQUITY.

THEY SAY THE MAYOR'S BUDGET IS A

START, BUT DOESN'T HIT THE MARK.

THE MAYOR URGES CAUTION IN

MOVING TOO QUICKLY.

>> I'M ADVOCATING FOR URGENT

ACTION, BUT GETTING IT RIGHT AND

I THINK WE NEED MORE TIME AND

SOME FOCUS TO DO THAT.

>> Dom: REPORTING IN BURLINGTON,

DOM AMATO, CHANNEL 3 NEWS.

>> Darren: AND JOINING ME NOW TO

TALK MORE ABOUT THIS IS DEPUTY

CHIEF JON MURAD WITH THE BPD.

THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

>> Murad: THANK YOU FOR HAVING

ME, DARREN.

>> Darren: FIRST, THE DEPARTMENT

IS IN SUPPORT OF SOME CUTS,

RIGHT?

HOW MUCH?

>> Murad: WELL, WE'RE IN SUPPORT

OF THE PLAN PRESENTED BY THE

MAYOR AND IT'S A PLAN THAT WE

WORKED ON WITH THE MAYOR.

IT'S A PLAN THAT WAS BASED ON

SHARED SACRIFICE ACROSS CITY

AGENCIES, ALTHOUGH MORE FROM THE

BPD THAN OTHER CITY AGENCIES,

OWING TO REVENUE DECREASES

RELATED TO COVID-19.

THAT'S A SITUATION REAL FOR ALL

OF US, INESCAPABLE, AND WE

RECOGNIZE THE NEED TO MAKE

SACRIFICES TO DEAL WITH THAT

REAL PICTURE.

THOSE 10% CUTS ARTICULATED BY

THE MAYOR IS, HOW MUCH, AS FAR

AS WE FEEL WE CAN GO WHILE

MAINTAINING SERVICE THAT

BURLINGTONIANS COME TO EXPECT

AND THE PUBLIC SAFETY WE OWE OUR

NEIGHBORS.

>> Darren: LET'S DIVING INTO

THAT.

WHAT WOULD A 30% REDUCTION IN

FORCE MEAN TO THE DEPARTMENT, TO

BURLINGTON RESIDENTS?

>> Murad: SO, YOU KNOW, THERE

ARE TWO STORIES HERE WITH REGARD

TO A 30% REDUCTION.

THE STORIES ARE ONE OF THE

SERVICES AND THE DATA, AND THAT

IS COLD AND IMPERSONAL, BUT IT'S

REALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE

ULTIMATELY THOSE SERVICES AFFECT

OUR NEIGHBORS.

THE OTHER STORY IS THE STORY OF

REAL-LIFE, FLESH AND BLOOD

OFFICERS WHO ARE GOING TO BE

FIRED TO MAKE THOSE KINDS OF

BUDGET CUTS POSSIBLE.

I'M NOT CERTAIN THAT THAT'S

SOMETHING THAT EITHER THE CITY

COUNCIL OR OUR NEIGHBORS

THROUGHOUT THE CITY HAVE THOUGHT

OF BECAUSE THESE, ULTIMATELY

ABOUT 18 OFFICERS.

THE CURRENT BUDGET PROPOSAL

LOSES 12 SPACES.

THOSE SPACES ARE IMPORTANT.

SAYING THEY'RE EMPTY AND GIVING

THEM UP MEANS NOTHING IS

ERRONEOUS.

THEY'RE IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE

BUFFER TO BUILD SO WE HAVE

CAPACITY WHEN MILITARY

DEPLOYMENT CALL OFFICERS AWAY OR

OFFICERS OUT SICK, JUST THE

NATURAL THINGS THAT CAUSE

OFFICERS TO BE INJURED OR

NEEDING TIME OFF.

BUT GOING FARTHER THAN THAT,

GOING INTO THE REALM OF 18

LIVING FLESH AND BLOOD OFFICERS

CUT MEANS LOSING THE NEWEST

OFFICERS THAT WE HAVE BROUGHT

ABOARD, OFFICERS WHO HAVE BEEN

TRAINED IN THE WAY THIS AGENCY

HAS BEEN WORKING OVER THE PAST

FIVE YEARS, WAYS THAT ARE

INCREDIBLY NEEDING FOR THE

PROFESSION, NATIONAL

PARAGONZALES OF DE-ESCALATION

AND EFFORT OF DEALING WITH

BARRICADED PERSONS, HANDLING

PEOPLE IN EMOTIONAL DISTRESS.

THOSE OFFICERS ARE ALSO SOME OF

OUR MOST DIVERSE WITH REGARD TO

GENDER, WITH REGARD TO RACE.

THEY COME FROM A VARIETY OF

BACKGROUNDS.

>> Darren: SO SOME ARE CALLING

FOR REALLOCATING FUNDS TO MENTAL

HEALTH WORKERS.

POLICE HAVE REPEATEDLY SAID MANY

OF THE CALLS ARE MENTAL HEALTH

CALLS, SO WHY SHOULDN'T THAT

HAPPEN?

>> Murad: I THINK THAT IT SHOULD

HAPPEN.

WHAT I'M SUGGESTING IS THAT IT

DOESN'T HAPPEN BY AN FIAT AND AN

AD HOC DECISION TO SAY WE'RE

CUTTING THIS.

IT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ASSESS THE

SITUATION IN WHICH YOU ARE IN,

IT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CAN ACTUALLY

HAVE THE KIND OF RATIONAL

PROCESS THAT WE NEED TO DO,

UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

THERE NEEDS TO BE ALTERNATIVE

VIABLE CAPACITIES FOR SOME OF

THESE OTHER THINGS TO WHICH

POLICE OFFICERS CURRENTLY

RESPOND, BUT THE VIABILITY IS

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART, AND YOU

CANNOT TURN OFF ONE THING AND

PRAY THAT SOMEHOW THE OTHER

THING WILL GET BUILT UP AND BE

ABLE TO RESPOND.

IF YOU DO, YOU WILL BE

DIMINISHING PUBLIC SAFETY.

PEOPLE WILL BE HURT IF THAT

OCCURS.

AND THAT'S ON TOP OF THE IDEA OF

OTHER THINGS WHICH OFFICERS

RESPOND THAT ARE NOT NECESSARILY

MENTAL HEALTH, BUT ARE THINGS

THAT ARE NOISE COMPLAINTS,

THINGS THAT ARE ABOUT QUALITY OF

LIFE ISSUES THAT OUR NEIGHBORS

HAVE COME TO EXPECT OUR SERVICES

ABOUT.

AND WITH REGARD TO THOSE, WE ARE

GOING TO SEE A DIMINISHED

ABILITY TO RESPOND TO THOSE.

IN SOME INSTANCES, WE WILL NOT

RESPOND IN PERSON.

WE'LL HAVE TO DO SO BY PHONE OR

BY EMAIL.

WE'LL SEE EFFECTS ON THE REACHES

OF OUR CITY, THE NEW NORTH END,

THE SOUTH END.

THOSE ARE PARTS OF THE CITY THAT

ARE GOING TO SEE RESPONSE TIMES

DROP.

>> Darren: SHIFTING SUPPORT TO

SOCIAL SERVICES, THOUGH, JUST

PART OF THE DEFUND ARGUMENT.

THE OTHER PART IS THAT HAVING SO

MANY COPS ON THE STREETS CREATES

A CULTURE OF PUNISHMENT,

ESPECIALLY IN MINORITY

COMMUNITIES, AND SUPPORTERS OF

THIS CUT POINT TO SOME HIGH

PROFILE ALTERCATIONS WITH

BURLINGTON POLICE, EVEN DEADLY

USE OF FORCE, AS REASON TO

REDUCE THE NUMBER OF COPS ON THE

BEAT.

HOW DO YOU RESPOND?

>> Murad: I RESPOND THAT OUR

OFFICERS GO OUT DAY IN AND DAY

OUT TO TRY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE.

THEY USE FORCE IN TWO-THIRDS OF

ONE PERCENT OF ALL THE INCIDENTS

TO WHICH THEY RESPOND.

TWO OF THOSE INCIDENTS THAT

YOU'RE REFERRING TO ARE IN

LITIGATION AND I CAN'T COMMENT

ON THEM FULLY, BUT I CAN SAY

THAT ALL THREE OF THOSE

INCIDENTS WERE REVIEWED BY

STATE'S ATTORNEY AND THE

ATTORNEY GENERAL IN ONE CASE IN

A LONG-TERM INVESTIGATION.

THEY WERE INDEPENDENTLY

INVESTIGATED IN ALL THREE

INSTANCES, DISCIPLINE WAS

RENDERED IN ALL THREE INSTANCES,

AND THAT DISCIPLINE WAS DONE IN

ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW WITH AN

UNDERSTANDING THAT THERE HAD

BEEN NO CRIMINALITY IN ANY OF

THOSE INSTANCES, AND THAT THE

HUMAN RESOURCE AND CONTRACTUAL

OBLIGATIONS THEN TAKE EFFECT AND

RESULT IN WHAT WE HAVE FOR

OUTCOMES INTO THOSE INSTANCES.

AND THOSE ARE THINGS THAT YOU

DON'T -- THAT'S WHAT YOU HAVE.

YOU DON'T HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO

SAY I'M GOING TO GO BACK AND

LOOK AT THIS AGAIN ANY MORE THAN

YOU CASES WHERE DOUBLE JEOPARDY

APPLY, FAIRNESS APPLIES.

THOSE OFFICER ARE STILL

EMPLOYED.

>> Darren: ADVOCATES WANT TO CUT

SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS BECAUSE

STUDIES SHOW MORE OFFICERS IN

SCHOOLS LEAD TO MORE DISCIPLINE

AGAINST STUDENTS,

DISPROPORTIONATE AGAINST AFRICAN

AMERICAN STUDENT MUCH.

YOU STILL HAVE OFFICERS IN

BURLINGTON SCHOOLS.

WOULD THOSE BE THE FIRST

POSITIONS CUT?

>> Murad: UNDER THE MAYOR'S

PLAN, THEY ARE NOT POSITIONS WE

WOULD CUT.

THE PLAN WITH THE MAYOR ALLOWS

US TO CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN THE

SERVICES WE CURRENTLY HAVE.

WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF ROOM FOR

ERROR ON IT, BUT WE DO MAINTAIN

THEM.

SROs ARE PART OF THAT BECAUSE

THEY'RE INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT.

THEY DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS IN

THE SCHOOLS, DEVELOP

RELATIONSHIPS WITH NEW AMERICAN

COMMUNITIES, ALLOW US TO KNOW

KIDS AND UNDERSTAND THE DYNAMICS

OF KIDS' RELATIONSHIPS IN WAYS

THAT PATROL OFFICERS CAN'T

BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT IMMERSED IN

THAT WORLD.

OUR EXPERIENCE HERE IN

BURLINGTON IS VERY DIFFERENT

FROM THE EXPERIENCE BEING

DESCRIBED BY PEOPLE CALLING IN

OR PEOPLE WHO HAVE WRITTEN

LETTERS.

I DON'T DENY THAT THE NATIONAL

PICTURE FOR SROs HAS REAL FLAWS

AND HAVE SPOKEN WITH THE

INCOMING SUPERINTENDENT ABOUT

SOME OF THOSE ISSUES, BUT HERE

IN BURLINGTON, IT IS AN

INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL AND

EFFECTIVE PIECE OF WHAT WE DO

AND IT IS SOMETHING THAT HAS

ACTUALLY DECREASED THE NUMBER OF

JUVENILE ARRESTS.

SINCE OUR MEMORANDUM OF

UNDERSTANDING WITH THE SCHOOL

DISTRICT, WE HAVE SEEN A

SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN JUVENILE

ARRESTS, ESPECIALLY IN THE

SCHOOLS, BUT THROUGHOUT THE

CITY.

AND SOME OF THAT IS BECAUSE WHEN

PATROL OFFICERS INTERACT WITH

YOUTHS AND NOW KNOW TO CALL THE

SRO AND SAY DO YOU HAVE

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT

THIS SITUATION, AND WE'RE ABLE

TO FIND SOLUTIONS THAT ARE NOT

ENFORCEMENT RELATED, THAT'S A

WIN AND THAT'S A WIN THAT'S

PREDICATED IN HAVING THOSE

OFFICERS IN THAT SCHOOL FORMING

RELATIONSHIPS EVERY SINGLE DAY.

BUT IF WE WENT TO A 30% CUT,

YES, THOSE OFFICERS WOULD

PROBABLY BE WITHDRAWN UNDER SUCH

A CUT BECAUSE WE WOULD RETRACT

TO OUR CORE SERVICE, THIS IS

PATROL AND DETECTIVE AND IS

LARGELY REACTIVE AND'S NOT

PROTIVE AND PREVENTIVE.

THE BEST THING POLICING CAN DO

IS HELP PREVENT CRIME AND

DISORDER WITH AND FOR OUR

NEIGHBORS.

WE RESPOND TO IT AS WELL.

THAT IS THE CORE IS THE

RESPONSE, BUT IF WE ARE FORCED

TO DRAW BACK INTO THAT CORE,

THAT IS ALL YOU WILL GET IS THE

RESPONSE.

YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE PREVENTIVE

ACTIONS, THE PROACTIVE ACTIONS,

THE FOOT PATROLS, THE DEVELOPING

OF RELATIONSHIPS, ALL THE

HALLMARKS OF COMMUNITY POLICING

THAT THIS AGENCY PIONEERED OVER

THE PAST 20 YEARS, AND

PARTICULARLY OVER THE PAST FIVE,

IT WILL FALL AWAY IF WE RETREAT

INTO A SMALLER POSITION AND

WE'LL ALSO END UP HAVING THE

RESPONSE TIMES DIMINISHED.

>> Darren: IS BETTER TRAINING

AND RECRUITING NEEDED TO BE SURE

THAT YOU DON'T GET A BAD COP?

>> Murad: SO, YOU KNOW, WE

CURRENTLY -- SINCE 2018, WE HAVE

HAD 543 APPLICATIONS AND 23

HIRES.

THAT'S A 4.5 OR SO PERCENT RATE.

WE ARE -- WE HAVE A VERY

RIGOROUS PROCESS FOR WHO WE

HIRE.

THOSE OFFICERS, BY THE WAY, IN

THAT COHORT ARE THE ONES THAT

WOULD BE LOST UNDER THE 30% CUT.

WE HAVE A VERY RIGOROUS PROCESS

FOR EVALUATING THEM THAT

INCLUDES BACKGROUND CHECKS.

IT INCLUDES POLYGRAPH, AND THEN

THERE IS A DIFFICULT AND ARDUOUS

PROCESS THROUGH THE VERMONT

POLICE ACADEMY AS WELL IN ORDER

TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE TRAINED

AND READY, BUT WHEN THEY COME TO

BURLINGTON, WE HAVE THE LONGEST

FIELD TRAINING PROGRAM IN THE

STATE AND IT IS ONE THAT

INCULCATES IN THEM A BURLINGTON

WAY OF DOING THINGS, WHICH IS

PREDICATED ON WORKING WITH OUR

COMMUNITY ON DE-ESCALATION,

DECELERATION, ALL THESE THINGS

WE RECENTLY ENCODED IN OUR NEW

USE OF FORCE POLICY THAT WAS

APPROVED BY THE BURLINGTON

POLICE COMMISSION EARLIER THIS

WEEK, BUT ARE THINGS WE'VE BEEN

TRAINING ON FOR QUITE SOME TIME,

LONG BEFORE THE POLICY CAME INTO

EFFECT.

SO, YOU KNOW, WE'RE REALLY

CONFIDENT IN THE KIND OF

OFFICERS WE'RE CURRENTLY ABLE TO

RECRUIT AND HIRE, BUT WE WON'T

BE ABLE TO DO ANY RECRUITMENT OR

ANY HIRING AND VERY LITTLE

TRAINING UNDER THE, YOU KNOW, A

PROPOSAL LIKE 30%.

EVEN THE 10% CUT DRASTICALLY

DIMINISHES OUR TRAINING BUDGET.

>> Darren: DEPUTY CHIEF JON

MURAD, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

WE APPRECIATE IT.

>> Murad: THANK YOU.

>> Darren: STILL AHEAD ON "YOU

CAN QUOTE ME," A BIG WIN FOR

LGBTQ RIGHTS.

WHAT THE SUPREME COURT'S NEW

RULING ON DISCRIMINATION MEANS

FOR GAY, LESBIAN, AND

TRANSGENDER WORKERS.

AND THE FIGHT FOR EQUAL RIGHTS.

DON'T GO AWAY.

>> Darren: IS THE U.S. PANDEMIC

RESPONSE HURTING THE COUNTRY'S

STANDING ON THE WORLD STAGE?

AT A SENATE HEARING ON PANDEMIC

PREVENTION, PREPARATION, AND

RESPONSE, NEW HAMPSHIRE SENATOR

JEANNE SHAHEEN ASKED HOW CHINA

HAS INCREASED ITS INFLUENCE

DURING THE PANDEMIC.

THE COUNTRY HAS AGGRESSIVELY

COUNTERED NEGATIVE NARRATIVES

ABOUT ITS ROLE IN THE PANDEMIC

AND HAS BEEN A PROVIDER OF PPE

FOR MANY COUNTRIES IN NEED,

INCLUDING THE U.S.

THE WITNESSES TOLD HER THAT

WHILE CHINA HAS ACCELERATED

THEIR FOREIGN AID IN RECENT

YEARS, IT DOESN'T COMPARE TO THE

DECADES OF AID AND LEADERSHIP

THE U.S. HAS PROVIDED OVER THE

PAST 40 YEARS.

>> MOST COUNTRIES ARE WILLING TO

ACCEPT FACE MASKS OR WHATEVER

FROM CHINA, BUT TO CHRIS'S

POINT, THEY OFTEN THEN GO AROUND

TO US AND SAY, HEY, IS THIS

FINANCING DEAL FROM CHINA ANY

GOOD.

WE'RE THE TRUSTED PARTNER AND

CHOICE, EVEN THOUGH WE'VE SEEN

CHINA REALLY ACCELERATE, BUT IF

YOU LOOK AT THEIR INVESTMENTS,

EVEN IN COVID VERSUS WHAT THE

U.S. HAS INVESTED, IT PALES IN

COMPARISON.

I THINK THEY JUST REALLY FOCUSED

ON GETTING THOSE HEADLINES.

>> Shaheen: WELL, LET ME JUST

POINT OUT THAT THE STATE OF NEW

HAMPSHIRE WAS ABLE TO GET

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

FROM CHINA WHEN WE COULDN'T GET

IT FROM THE UNITED STATES OR

FROM FEMA, SO I THINK WE NEED TO

EXAMINE WHAT'S HAPPENING THERE

AND WHAT WE COULD BE DOING

BETTER IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THE

FALLOUT FROM THE PANDEMIC.

>> Darren: NEW HAMPSHIRE GOT

MILLIONS OF MASKS AND OTHER PPE

FROM CHINA.

>>> UP NEXT, ANALYSIS OF THE

SUPREME COURT RULING THAT STOPS

EMPLOYERS FROM DISCRIMINATING

AGAINST LGBTQ WORKERS.

>> Darren: A MAJOR VICTORY IN

THE BATTLE FOR LGBTQ RIGHTS.

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT RULED

THAT THE FEDERAL LAW PROTECTING

WORKERS ON THE BASIS OF SEX ALSO

APPLIES TO GAY, LESBIAN, AND

TRANSGENDER PEOPLE.

OUR NATALIE BRAND IS IN D.C.

WITH THE DETAILS ABOUT THE

RULING.

>> Reporter: IN A LANDMARK

DECISION FOR LGBTQ RIGHTS, THE

SUPREME COURT RULED EMPLOYERS

CANNOT DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS

OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR GENDER

IDENTITY.

IN A 6-3 RULING, THE NATION'S

HIGHEST COURT MADE IT CLEAR, THE

CIVIL RIGHTS OF ACT OF 1964 THAT

BARS DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS

OF SEX, RACE, COLOR, ORIGIN, OR

RELIGION, PROTECTS GAY AND

TRANSGENDER WORKERS.

>> IT'S BEEN A LONG JOURNEY THAT

WE FINALLY MADE IT HERE.

>> Reporter: WE INTERVIEWED

PLAINTIFF GERALD BOSTOCK WHEN HE

TRAVELED TO WASHINGTON FOR ORAL

ARGUMENTS LAST OCTOBER.

HE SAYS HE LOST HIS JOB IN

CLAYTON COUNTY, GEORGIA, AFTER

JOINING A GAY SOFTBALL LEAGUE.

>> I DID NOTHING WRONG AND NOW I

HAVE SOME VALIDATION IN THAT.

>> Reporter: HE WAS ONE OF THREE

CASES HEARD AT THE COURT THAT

DAY.

AMY STEPHENS, WHO SAYS SHE WAS

FIRED FOR BEING TRANSGENDER,

WROTE A STATEMENT BEFORE PASSING

AWAY LAST MONTH, SAYING IN PART,

I AM GLAD THE COURT RECOGNIZED

THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO ME IS

WRONG AND ILLEGAL.

>> WE CAN GO TO WORK AND NOT

HAVE TO BE IN FEAR THAT BEING

GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL OR

TRANSGENDER WILL NOW BE A BLANK

CHECK FOR EMPLOYERS TO

DISCRIMINATE AGAINST US.

>> Reporter: SHARON McGOWAN OF

LAMBDA TELL HAS BEEN LITIGATING

THESE CASES FOR MORE THAN 15

YEARS.

SHE SAYS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF

TODAY'S RULING WILL CREATE A

UNIFORM STANDARD NATIONWIDE IT.

>> DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER YOU

WORK IN ILLINOIS OR MISSOURI,

DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER OR NOT

YOU'RE IN OHIO OR INDIANA, YOU

WILL NOW HAVE THE FULL

PROTECTION OF THE LAW.

>> Reporter: THREE JUSTICES

DISSENTED.

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH WROTE, WE ARE

JUDGES, NOT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.

OUR ROLE IS NOT TO MAKE THE LAW.

BUT IN THE MAJORITY OPINION,

JUSTICE WROTE SOMEONE WHO FIRES

SOMEONE MERELY FOR BEING GAY OR

TRANSGENDER DEFIESES THE LAW.

>> Darren: TO TALK MORE ABOUT

THIS HISTORY RULING, I'M JOINED

BUT BY SUSAN MURRAY, AN ATTORNEY

WHO WAS ALSO A LGBTQ ACTIVIST

AND WAS INVOLVED IN THE LANDMARK

CASES THAT LED TO CIVIL UNIONS

AND SAME SEX MARRIAGE IN

VERMONT.

SUSAN, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

>> Murray: THANK YOU VERY MUCH,

DARREN.

I APPRECIATE YOUR ASKING ME.

>> Darren: WHAT DOES THIS RULING

MEAN FOR LGBTQ WORKERS AND

LITERALLY HAVE ANY IMPACT ON

VERMONTERS GIVEN THE LAWS WE

ALREADY HAVE IN PLACE HERE?

>> Murray: RIGHT, GREAT

QUESTION.

THIS CASE WAS AN INTERPRETATION

OF A FEDERAL LAW, FEDERAL CIVIL

RIGHTS LAW THAT WAS PASSED BACK

IN 1964 DURING THE LYNDON

JOHNSON ERA.

IT WAS CALLED TITLE 7, AND OVER

50 YEARS AGO, AND IT PROHIBITED

DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF

SEX.

SO THERE WAS A TIME WHEN WOMEN

COULD BE FIRED BECAUSE THEY WERE

PREGNANT OR IT WAS OKAY TO PAY

WOMEN LESS MONEY FOR DOING

EXACTLY THE SAME JOB THAT MEN

WERE DOING.

SO WE -- SO CONGRESS PASSED THAT

LAW 50-SOME-ODD YEARS AGO AND

PROHIBITED THAT KIND OF

DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF

SEX.

AND THIS CASE, FOR THE FIRST

TIME, MADE IT CLEAR THAT ON THE

BASIS OF SEX MEANS WORKERS WHO

ARE LGBTQ.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT FOR -- THERE

WERE 27 OR 28 STATES IN THIS

COUNTRY THAT STILL ALLOWED YOU

TO -- ALLOWED EMPLOYERS TO

DISCRIMINATE.

SO VERMONT PASSED AN

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW WAY BACK

IN 1992, SO IT'S BEEN 28 YEARS

SINCE VERMONT EMPLOYERS WERE

ABLE TO DISCRIMINATE, I'M HAPPY

TO SAY, PROUD TO SAY ABOUT OUR

STATE.

BUT IN 27 OR 28 -- I CAN'T

REMEMBER THE NUMBER OF STATES --

IT WAS POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO GET

MARRIED, LEGALLY MARRIED ON A

SATURDAY TO YOUR SAME SEX

PARTNER AND THEN GO TO WORK ON

MONDAY AND BE FIRED BECAUSE YOUR

EMPLOYER FOUND OUT THAT YOU WERE

A GAY PERSON OR A LESBIAN.

SO, YOU KNOW, THIS RULING SAYS

YOU CAN'T DO THAT ANYMORE, SO

IT'S A GREAT VICTORY.

>> Darren: NOW, YOU HEARD

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH, ONE OF THREE

WHO DISSENTED, WROTE WE ARE

JUDGES, NOT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.

OUR ROLE IS NOT TO MAKE OR AMEND

THE LAW.

YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT?

>> Murray: SO IT SOUNDS LIKE TWO

OF THE CONSERVATIVE JUSTICES,

JUSTICE KAVANAUGH AND JUSTICE

GORSUCH, ARE HAVING A

PHILOSOPHICAL BATTLE, A LEGAL

PHILOSOPHICAL BATTLE BETWEEN

THESE TWO CONCEPTS, COMPETING

CONCEPTS OF ORIGINAL INTENT

VERSUS TEXTUALISM, OKAY?

SO JUSTICE KAVANAUGH BELIEVES

THAT THE INTENT OF THE DRAFTERS

OF THE LEGISLATION, CONGRESS,

BACK IN 1964, IS WHAT MATTERS

AND SO YOU SHOULD GO BACK TO

1964 AND SEE WHETHER OR NOT THE

LEGISLATORS, THE CONGRESS

PEOPLE, MOSTLY MEN IN 1964,

WHETHER THEY THOUGHT THAT THEY

WERE INCLUDING LGBTQ PEOPLE IN

THIS LAW WHEN THEY PASSED IT.

THAT'S WHAT JUSTICE KAVANAUGH IS

SAYING.

HE'S SAYING NO, THERE'S NO WAY

THESE LEGISLATORS COULD EVER

POSSIBLY HAVE CONSIDERED THEIR

LEGISLATION OR INTENDED THEIR

LEGISLATION TO BE COVERING LGBTQ

FOLKS.

JUSTICE GORSUCH SAYS, WAIT A

SECOND, IF YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE

BETWEEN THE ACTUAL WORDS IN THE

STATUTE, THE ACTUAL WORDS IN THE

LAW, OR HAVE TO DISCERN THE

INTENT OF 150 MEMBERS OF THE

HOUSE OR ANOTHER 100 MEMBERS OF

THE SENATE, HOWEVER MANY

LEGISLATORS THERE WERE BACK THEN

WHO PASSED THIS LAW, YOU HAVE TO

JUST LOOK AT THE TEXT BECAUSE

YOU CAN'T RELY ON THE INTENT OF

THAT MANY LEGISLATORS TO EVEN

COME UP WITH A COMMON IDEA ABOUT

WHAT THEY THOUGHT.

SO HE -- JUSTICE GORSUCH, IN

OTHER CASES, HAS WEIGHED THE

ACTUAL LANGUAGE OF THOSE

STATUTES, THE TEXT OF THE

STATUTE AS BEING MUCH MORE

IMPORTANT AND TRUMPING, IF I CAN

USE THAT WORD, THE INTENT THAT

MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE EXISTED BACK

THEN.

SO FOR HIM, THE WORD "SEX" IN

THIS LAW WAS -- DECIDED THE

MATTER FOR HIM.

>> Darren: WERE YOU SURPRISED BY

THE HIGH COURT, THAT IT WENT IN

THIS DIRECTION?

>> Murray: I WOULD BE LYING IF I

SAID I WASN'T.

THIS IS A HYPER-POLARIZED

ENVIRONMENT WE'RE LIVING IN AND

I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SURPRISED

IF THE FIVE CONSERVATIVE

JUSTICES ON THE SUPREME COURT

HAD, YOU KNOW, FOLLOWED THEIR

POLITICAL LEANINGS TO ALLOW THIS

DECISION, TO MAKE THIS DECISION.

SO I WAS IMPRESSED BY JUSTICE

GORSUCH'S INTEGRITY.

HE FOLLOWED HIS JUDICIAL

PHILOSOPHY, WHICH WAS TO

INTERPRET THE TEXT OF THE LAW

DESPITE WHETHER OR NOT HE LIKE

THE OUTCOME.

THAT'S WHAT HE DID, AND SO I

RESPECT THAT INTEGRITY.

WAS I SURPRISED?

YES.

>> Darren: IS THERE GREATER

SIGNIFICANCE TO THIS RULING

REGARDING LGBTQ RIGHTS IN THE

U.S.?

>> Murray: SURE.

YOU KNOW, THE -- THE FIGHT IS

NOT OVER, RIGHT?

THIS IS A BATTLE FOR JUSTICE FOR

LGBTQ FOLKS.

THERE ARE STILL PLACES, NOT IN

VERMONT LUCKILY, BUT THERE ARE

STILL PLACES IN THIS COUNTRY

WHERE LGBTQ PEOPLE CAN BE DENIED

ACCOMMODATIONS, THEY CAN BE

KICKED OUT OF RESTAURANTS, THEY

CAN BE KICKED OUT OF STORES,

THEY CAN BE DENIED HOUSING, THEY

DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO SOCIAL

SERVICES, THINGS LIKE THAT.

SO THE EQUALITY DOESN'T -- FULL

EQUALITY DOESN'T YET EXIST, BUT

HAVING SAID THAT, THIS IS A HUGE

DECISION.

THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT WE'RE

ARCING TOWARD JUSTICE, I THINK.

YOU KNOW, THE WHOLE POINT OF

TITLE 7, THE LAW THAT WAS

INTERPRETED HERE, THE WHOLE

POINT OF THIS CIVIL RIGHTS LAW

IS TO HELP US AS A COUNTRY LIVE

UP TO OUR PROMISE OF EQUALITY

FOR ALL OF OUR CITIZENS, FOR ALL

OF THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE, AND

I THINK THIS CASE, THIS RULING

GETS US CLOSER TO THAT GOAL.

>> Darren: SUSAN MURRAY, THANK

YOU SO MUCH.

STAY SAFE AND BE HEALTHY, OKAY?

>> Murray: SAME TO YOU.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DARREN.

TAKE CARE.

>> Darren: THAT WILL DO IT FOR

"YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING

US.

WE APPRECIATE IT.

HAVE A WONDERFUL SUNDAY AND I'LL

SEE YOU SOON.

TAKE CARE.

CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY

CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC

www.captionassociates.com

Latest News

Latest News