In a surprise 6-3 decision June 15th, the United States Supreme Court ruled that gays and transgendered individuals are in fact protected by Title VII of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, which already prohibits discrimination in the workplace on sexual grounds. Conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the bloc of four liberals in essentially grandfathering in sexual orientation and gender identification to the nearly sixty-year-old law. Well, duh.
The senior Justice in the majority determines who will write the decision, and John Roberts wasted no time in passing this hot potato along to junior Justice Gorsuch, perhaps the unkindest cut of all for conservatives, who have put up with all manner of crudity, ignorance, and anti-Christian-values shenanigans from Donald Trump, all in the name of the justices he would appoint to the Supreme Court, whom they assumed would rule in support of their views. As historian Jon Meacham recently opined, “they sold their souls to Trump for the Supreme Court, and now find that his check has bounced.”
The case, known as Bostock v Clayton County, centered on Gerald Bostock, a Georgia man fired from his job as a child welfare services coordinator for the Clayton County Juvenile Court System in 2013 for “conduct unbecoming of a county employee”, after participating in a gay softball league. (Oh, the horror!) Bostock was joined by Donald Zarda, fired from his job as a sky diving instructor in New York in 2010 after a woman accused him of touching her inappropriately during a tandem skydive and he refuted her allegation, telling her was “totally gay”. Zarda has since died, and is not here to celebrate his vindication. The third plaintiff was Aimee Stephens, who was fired from Harris Funeral Homes in Michigan after she told her employer in 2013 she suffered from gender dysphoria and would dress as a woman at work; Stephens died in May. These complaints made their way up to SCOTUS via EEOC filings on sex and gender discrimination, and Justice Gorsuch pulled no punches in his decision, writing, “an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.”
Period. The milestone decision grants employment protections to gays and lesbians nationwide, not just in the 21 states that already have them.
As ever, the skies well translate the day’s events (or is that the other way around?). I was unable to determine the exact moment the ruling was announced, but typically these are released after 10 AM, and the first news reports are timed for 10:30, so I ran a chart for 10:10 AM EDT in Washington DC. I won’t be interpreting from these specific angles due to the uncertainty, but they give a feel for the general energy regardless, as designating which points were close to angular when the ruling was handed down.
Celestial markers of homosexuality include Sappho, named for the famed ancient Greek lesbian poet; Ganymed, named for Zeus’ cupbearer and boy-toy lover; Antinous, named for the lover of First Century Roman Emperor Hadrian, who drowned himself in the Nile to save his beloved, and was in turn deified; and Eros, which denotes sexual passion generally, but was also the acknowledged patron of homosexual unions in Hellenistic society.
Phenomenally, three of the four are conjoined, and cresting the Midheaven, the most elevated points in the chart, the focus of all eyes (at 12 Taurus for the 10:10 AM estimate, but in the 10-16 Taurus range during that half hour). These are Eros at 14 Taurus, Antinous at 17 and Ganymede at 18 Taurus, all processing celestially before Uranus at 9 Taurus, also angular, describing the unexpected, surprising nature of the decision regarding the LGBTQ community. (By the way, this unwieldy five-letter anagram is absolutely where I draw the line; when the community moves on to LGBTQXYZ, they can count me out!)
Rising on the Ascendant (19 Leo in the estimate) is asteroid Neally at 15 Leo, one of several variants for Neil Gorsuch, in square to the queer stellium (also here is asteroid Christian at 14 Leo, representing those most likely opposed to gay rights, as evinced by the stress of the square). Asteroid Gorsch (Gorsuch without the “u”) appears at 27 Pisces, conjunct Neptune at 20 and Mars at 22 Pisces, opposing a Fanatica/Whitehouse pairing at 23 and 25 Virgo, in a Grand Cross with the Sun at 24 Gemini and the Galactic Center at 27 Sagittarius. Gorsch with Mars and Neptune shows Justice Gorsuch as the champion (Mars) of sexually-nonconformist or gender-fluid (Mars/Neptune) individuals, in stark antagonism (opposition) to the viewpoint of the administration (Whitehouse) and its Fundamentalist allies (Fanatica), with a decision guaranteed to garner universal notice and attention (Galactic Center), one which also makes him the focus of the day (Sun) and evokes disappointment (Neptune) in people of faith (Neptune/Fanatica) and the Oval Office (Whitehouse).
Gorsuch is also represented by asteroid Nele, which at 1 Scorpio conjoins asteroid Themis at 0 Scorpio, named for the Greek goddess of justice, which is also Gorsuch’s job title. These oppose Uranus, indicating once again the shock and surprise of his unexpected stance. Moreover, both points are embedded at station, marking this as a literal “turning point” in their cycles, with Nele (showing his independent streak, also Uranus) turning direct on June 20th, just five days after the ruling, and Themis turning direct that very day, spitting on her hands and getting down to promoting full and equal justice for all, as is her wont.
Asteroid Justitia, named for Themis’ Roman counterpart, falls at 8 Cancer, exactly conjunct asteroid Church and within orb of Mercury at 14 Cancer, depicting the SCOTUS (Justitia) decision (Mercury) so decried by the religious right (Church). We might say the ruling gives them their just desserts.
Chief Justice Roberts is seen in asteroid Roberts, which at 23 Gemini is closely conjoined the Sun at 24 Gemini, putting him front and center for the time period. Roberts declined that spotlight, finding his place in the sun to be too hot, and translated his visibility to Gorsuch, via the square to Gorsch at 27 Pisces.
The plaintiffs and defendants are there as well. There are no asteroids to represent Donald Zarda’s names, but there is a Skywalker (named for the “Star Wars” clan, obvi), which is similar to skydiver, his profession. At 15 Cancer, Skywalker conjoins Mercury and squares the Moon at 20 Aries, for the decision that went in his favor, albeit posthumously. Skywalker tied to a Light also shows Zarda’s prominence on the day.
The others are more emphatic. Aimee Stephens is represented by asteroid Amy, which at 22 Aquarius trines the Sun and is approaching station, about to turn retrograde June 23rd; and asteroid Stevens, which at 22 Taurus squares Amy exactly, also bound up in the gay stellium cresting the MC.
Gerald Bostock has two variants of his first name – the feminine version Geraldina, which at 5 Libra is conjoined Sappho, the final gay indicator, at 0 Libra, and in a Grand Trine Kite pattern, with Saturn at 0 Aquarius, Venus retrograde at 7 Gemini and asteroid Washingtonia at 1 Leo, depicting the official (Saturn) governmental (Washingtonia) reappraisal (retrograde) of the values (Venus) of the country. It’s quite remarkable to see two plaintiffs with PNAs directly connected to celestial markers which indicate their sexual orientation (all three if you count Skywalker’s sextile to the Taurean gay stellium).
Bostock is also represented by Jerold, a phonetic match for his first name, which at 27 Pisces is an exact match for asteroid Gorsch. This is no more than appropriate for the Justice who took up his cause, and it is cosmically balanced by another exact pairing, of asteroids Samuele and Harris, both at 29 Cancer, representing one of the plaintiffs, Harris Funeral Homes, and Samuel Alito, the Justice who wrote the dissenting opinion in their favor. Rarely do we see the battle lines drawn so clearly in the heavens, despite the close trine between the combatants, which would ordinarily suggest support between them (which, as co-conservatives, is normally the case). Asteroid Clayton, for the Clayton County defendant, falls at 5 Gemini, conjunct Venus and exactly semisquare the Moon, again indicating prominence on the day, for good or ill.
I’d also like to note a newcomer (to me, at least), which is asteroid Alleven, at 3 Gemini. Alleven was named by Jean Meeus, a Belgian mathematical astronomer who assigned it a planetary number incorporating all the even digits in order – 24680 (it has a counterpart in asteroid Allodd – 13579 – which would undoubtedly make an interesting case study in itself!). I happened upon Alleven by accident (?) as I scrolled through the Minor Planet Center’s website looking for an “Aimee” match, and the symbolism of equality suggested by “all even” intrigued me.
So I threw it in the chart, and damned if it isn’t currently opposing asteroid America at 8 Sagittarius! Perhaps a sign (especially when we think of the simultaneous mass protests for equal racial justice) that, with this SCOTUS decision, things are becoming just a little more “all even” in the US.