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Supreme Court rules federal law protects LGBTQ employees from discrimination

On Monday, the Supreme Court made a historic ruling in favor of the LGBTQ+ community.

Pride flag iStock/Rikke68

On Monday (June 15), the Supreme Court made a historic ruling in favor of the LGBTQ+ community. According to multiple outlets, including CNN, civil rights laws at the federal level will now protect those who identify as lesbian, gay, and transgender.

This decision means that millions of people across the country will not have to worry about discrimination in their workplaces simply because of their sexual orientation or identity. This ruling is also a major blow to the Trump administration, which contended that the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that bans gender discrimination, didn’t include such factors.

Written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the ruling was decided 6-3. Gorsuch, who was Trump’s initial nominee for the Supreme Court, made the decision with other justices who included Chief Justice John Roberts as well as four liberal ones.

“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,” Gorsuch wrote.

“There is simply no escaping the role intent plays here: Just as sex is necessarily a but-for cause when an employer discriminates against homosexual or transgender employees, an employer who discriminates on these grounds inescapably intends to rely on sex in its decision making,” the opinion stated.

“Today’s decision is one of the court’s most significant rulings ever with respect to the civil rights of gay and transgender individuals,” claimed Steve Vladeck, Supreme Court analyst at CNN and University of Texas School of Law professor. “On its terms, the decision is only about discrimination in the workplace. But it inevitably opens the door to a host of other challenges to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status on the ground that it, too, is impermissibly based upon sex. In that respect, only the court’s 2015 ruling recognizing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage may be equally as significant.”

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