SCOTUS Rules That Federal Employment Discrimination Laws Protect LGBT Employees

Credit: Pexels

A major victory for the LGBTQ community happened today!

In a somewhat surprising move The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday, June 15, that existing federal law forbids job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. 

“Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids,” the decision reads.

What’s even more incredible was that the decision was penned by Neil Gorsuch, a conservative justice appointed by President Donald J. Trump. He succeeded Antonin Scolia and took the oath of office on April 10, 2017.

Social media’s reaction was equally as shocked over the decision given how the Supreme Court has taken a conservative turn over the past couple of years. It was a 6-3 victory with both Gorsuch and fellow conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s four liberal justices in the majority. The ones in the opposite were Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas.

The Supreme Court heard three separate cases in 2019 concerning LGBTQ rights and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans job discrimination “because of sex.” Two gay people were fired for their sexual orientation in separate instances (Gerald Lynn Bostock and the late Donald Zarda) along with a transgender woman fired for coming out at work (Aimee Stephens).

Monday’s ruling means federal law now provides similar protection for LGBT employees in the rest of the country outside of the 21 states that already have their own laws prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (7 more provide the protection only to public employees). 

This decision is considered by some to be even bigger than gay marriage being legalized because nearly every person who identifies as LGBTQ needs or has a job. Others saw it as a crushing blow to Trump who has, as we all know by now, a history of being very anti LGBTQ

 

What do you think?