After a tough week for the LGBTQ+ community, there comes a small victory that is so very welcome. Today the US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that existing federal law forbids job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“The decision said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate because of a person’s sex, among other factors, also covers sexual orientation,” NBC Supreme Court correspondent Pete Williams wrote. “It upheld rulings from lower courts that said sexual orientation discrimination was a form of sex discrimination.”
In an unusual move, the court combined rulings on both sexual orientation and gender identity – which received backing from Justices John Roberts and – surprisingly, Trump pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Deena Fidas — Managing Director and Chief Program and Partnerships Officer at Out & Equal — had the following reaction:
“The Supreme Court has made its statement. Our bedrock civil rights protections doapply to LGBTQ workers. This is a momentous day for the community. But we need to not over-celebrate:
“The fight is far from over. Just three days ago, the Trump Administration rolled back basic healthcare protections for the community. Dozens of Black and Brown Transgender people have been murdered over the last several months. State house leaders diverted attention from a pandemic to attack transgender kids’ basic rights.
“But the business community has fought back at nearly every turn — blunting anti-LGBTQ bills before they see the light of day, signing amicus briefs in support of LGBTQ civil rights, and more — and the impact of their allyship will continue to be felt within their four walls and in the public square.”
Out & Equal is the premier organization working exclusively on LGBTQ workplace equality. Their full statement reacting to the decision is here: outandequal.org/win-at-the-supreme-court