Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.) said Monday that religious liberty is a "bogus term" used merely as a "pretext for discrimination."
Maloney, who is the first openly gay congressman to represent New York state, made the comments during a softball interview on MSNBC in which he and the anchors were celebrating the Supreme Court's recent decision to expand workplace civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
In a surprising decision, Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with the liberals on the court and authored the majority opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County, but even that didn't prevent Maloney from taking a swipe at the justice and at Americans' right to religious liberty enshrined in the Constitution.
"We know that Neil Gorsuch is a supporter of so-called religious liberty, which is a bogus term — it is actually some sort of pretext for discrimination hiding behind the guise of religion," the congressman said. "So, I'm still on the lookout for that from the author of this opinion."
You can hear Maloney make the comments at the 4:30 mark of the video below:
Today, @NicolleDWallace asked me what I thought the message was from today’s LGBTQ #SCOTUS victory. My answer: Act… https://t.co/o4VpXy8hJG— Sean Patrick Maloney (@Sean Patrick Maloney)1592271754.0
Maloney made similar remarks during a congressional hearing earlier this year that centered around the Trump administration's supposed use of religious liberty to "assault" the rights of LGBTQ Americans.
During the hearing, Maloney said that religious liberty has been "distorted and twisted into a weapon to enable discrimination" by the Trump administration, specifically in reference to rules allowing faith-based adoption agencies to deny child placement into LGBTQ homes.
Maloney, who fathers three kids with his husband, sponsors a bill which seeks to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ families by adoption and foster care agencies. In the past he has argued that to allow agencies to exclude LGBTQ couples under the guise of religious liberty is to "sanction discrimination."
(H/T: The Washington Free Beacon)