Op Ed

Supreme Court Ruling a Huge LGBTQ Victory

Decision in Pride Month protects 8.1 million LGBTQ workers from discrimination.

By - Jun 15th, 2020 07:47 pm
U.S. Supreme Court Building. Photo is in the Public Domain.

U.S. Supreme Court Building. Photo is in the Public Domain.

As of yesterday it was possible to get married on Sunday and legally fired on Monday, but no more. In a sweeping 6-3 Supreme Court decision it ruled that federal employment discrimination laws protect LGBTQ employees. This is a huge decision and a progressive one. With the victory coming from a conservative court during Pride Month is nothing short of the cake and frosting, too, all being delivered to the nation first thing this Monday morning!

Let cut to the core as to why this matters, and is such a stunning legal victory. There is an estimated 8.1 million LGBTQ workers across the country who were at risk because most states don’t protect them from workplace discrimination. This is why is matters to always place the Supreme Court as a topic for election year conversations. The lives of every-day Americans are always at stake with court actions.

The vote was 6 to 3, with Justice Neil Gorsuch writing the majority opinion. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan,as the New York Times reported:

The case concerned Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex. The question for the justices was whether that last prohibition — discrimination “because of sex”— applies to many millions of gay and transgender workers.

…The court considered two sets of cases. The first concerned a pair of lawsuits from gay men who said they were fired because of their sexual orientation: Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., No. 17-1618, and Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623.

The first case was filed by Gerald Bostock, a gay man who was fired from a government program that helped neglected and abused children in Clayton County, Ga., just south of Atlanta, after he joined a gay softball league.

The second was brought by a skydiving instructor, Donald Zarda, who also said he was fired because he was gay. His dismissal followed a complaint from a female customer who had expressed concerns about being strapped to Mr. Zarda during a tandem dive. Mr. Zarda, hoping to reassure the customer, told her that he was “100 percent gay.”

The other case was about a suit from a transgender woman, Aimee Stephens, who said her employer fired her when she announced that she would embrace her gender identity at work.

Most federal appeals courts had interpreted Title VII to exclude sexual orientation discrimination. But two of them, in New York and Chicago, had ruled that discrimination against gay men and lesbians is a form of sex discrimination.

Gregory Humphrey writes for the Caffeinated Politics blog.

Categories: LGBT, Op-Ed

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