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News: Trump Administration to SCOTUS—It’s Legal to Fire LGBTQ Workers

(Photo Credits: Shealah Craighead [Public domain])

The Trump administration filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court saying that employment discrimination, including firing of workers based on sexual orientation, is legal under the federal civil rights law. A similar brief was filed on August 16, 2019 for gender identity saying that transgender workers are not protected by law. 

The move was made several weeks before the Supreme Court hear oral arguments on three job discrimination cases—two on sexual orientation and one on gender identity—as to whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include sexual orientation as a protected class and whether it applies to cases of LGBT discrimination or not.  

According to CNBC, the cases “could for the first time resolve at a national level whether lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers can be fired based on their identity.”

The aforementioned cases are the Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda consolidated with Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. In the former, Zarda, a skydiving instructor, claimed he was “fired because of his sexual orientation and also because he did not conform to male gender stereotypes.” In the latter, Bostock was a child welfare services coordinator since 2003 who had consistently “received positive performance evaluations and numerous accolades” at work. Bostock was fired in 2013 because of “conduct unbecoming of its employees” shortly after he began participating in a gay recreational softball league. Lastly, in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Aimee Stephens had been the funeral director at R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes for almost six years but was promptly fired after she told her employer that she is a transgender woman.

There is a long-standing argument regarding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a civil rights and labor law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. But the brief filed by the Justice Department says that the law prohibiting employment discrimination based on sex does not extend to discrimination based on sexual orientation. According to BuzzFeed, here are some of the reasons mentioned and we quote:

  • Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination because of sex does not bar discrimination because of sexual orientation.
  • The ordinary meaning of ‘sex’ is biologically male or female; it does not also refer to sexual orientation.
  • An employer thus discriminates ‘because of … sex’ under Title VII if it treats members of one sex worse than similarly situated members of the other sex. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, standing alone, does not satisfy that standard.

A senior staff attorney for the ACLU named Ria Tabacco Mar said in an interview with the Washington Blade that the brief “defies logic and common sense” and that it is “unmoored from basic legal principles.” Mar said, “They admit it is unlawful to fire gay men or lesbians, but claim it is perfectly fine to fire gay men and lesbians. And they concede that employers may not penalize workers based on ‘gender norms,’ yet assert that discriminating based on moral beliefs about sexual or marital relationships has ‘nothing to do with’ gender norms.”

The outcome of the hearing on October 8 will ultimately “help decide the future of gay and transgender rights in America,” Vox said. 

You can read the brief for sexual orientation in full here and for gender identity here.


There are 44 comments

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  1. DickTrump...still single and looking

    I enjoy checking out A4A for fun and adventures…and hardly ever find any TURN OFFs while browsing through the profiles and a4a pages and blogs….until this creepy clown pic showed up on the BLOG concerning Rights and the Supreme Court.

    Could you please remove this ugly face?

      • Proud Trumpster

        What the hell Dave,
        One comment and you remove a pic?
        You want to talk trash about our President and let others do the same on this blog, show his pic.
        I may not always agree with our President but he the elected leader of the United States. He is also a citizen of our country. He has the right to free speech as everyone else. It is not up to him if it is right or not to fire gay men just for being gay. As you said it is up to the Supreme court.
        Yes I voted for Trump. I will do so again in 2020 based on the choices I have right now.

        This is your blog and you have every right to do what you want to with it. Use it to trash other countries or for advertisement for the Adam store. But if your using to talk about American politicians your opinion really doesn’t count. You a Canadian. Praise be.

        • Dave

          I don’t like Trump and I agree that I dont wanna see his horrible le face on A4A. That’s all.
          I hope he doesnt get elected. Other questions?

          • J P

            Thanks for sticking to your convictions!

            (and I am an embarrassed republican proud to say that I didn’t vote for him.)

            I bet he was one of the few that actually showed up to Boston’s str8 pride day. Besides, I am sure he would be afraid of catching something if he was on A4A

          • tek

            If this was Obama and someone had said similar you would’ve been screaming racist at them the whole time. I don’t care who people want to vote for or support/not support. But the hypocrisy on both sides is staggering.

        • Hunter0500

          Proud Trumpeter … Thank you. President Trump (that is how he was elected to be called) was elected by the people of the USA as President. Like him or not, as was the same with his predecessor, that is how he should be referred to. Anyone who refers to him as anything less totally disrespects hundreds of millions of voters.

          • David

            Hunter0500, he was NOT elected by the people. He was elected by the Electoral College. If the people had their way, he would not be the POTUS. Remember he lost the popular vote by nearly 3,000,000 votes..the largest loss in history.

        • Matt (Black)

          Proud dude,
          I’m not going to trash OUR President or you because this is about a supreme court decision we’re talking about. As a African American man, you noticed I said our President because he is. Policies aside, how could you vote for a pathological liar? You probably saying all politicians lie but he’s a proven liar. Promised I wouldn’t trash him but you already know what he said about Mexicans and the congressional women of color. You know what he said about the white supremacist group that violently protested in Charlottesville. You know he called certain dark countries shit-hole countries. You know how he feel about the lite skin people from Norway and Denmark….. You feel good deep, deep down in your soul voting for him?

  2. anonimatovato

    what are we in the 1950s?! why would people even consider this kind of discrimination a good thing?! republicans are so called prolife, but they like to fuck your adult life if you’re not white straight christian male smh! not surprised since Trump promotes the Trans ban in the military. So how’s Trump working for ya Log Cabin Republicans eh?

    • Jer

      The problem with this like so many things in this life
      ….is just like you stated that they -the Log Cabin Republicans are more than likely white Christian males but who happen to be gay
      But what the problem is -you’re talking about this disgusting occupant who’s acting “ POTUS” who acts more like a indecisive child , a big man child billionaire playboy which daddy gave his trust fund and has been going through his life he has done nothing but become this self made billionaire by Not pay his taxes and other back alley dealings , other stuff straight that are like straight out of a Las Vegas casino back room
      It’s why he rents and pays off hookers, whores and porn stars and does all of the other countless hideous deplorable things and we could all be safe to say criminal and illegal things he’s done all his life and now As an occupant in the White House yet when it comes down to this topic of employers firing for your sexuality /sexual orientation
      what is it to any employer or anyone for that matter what and who your sleeping with . Unless their some kinda voyeur, you wouldn’t be in the room or otherwise to witness what someone does sexually or otherwise so why this is even becoming a court case , it’s just like gay marriage , how was that even a thing , legally or Not it wasn’t until someone said two guys or gals couldn’t and then four people Twi gay men and two lesbian women challenged it only for it to become legal & a law yet no one questions 90 percent of what ANY heterosexuals do/does . Where is it written they’re living legally amongst anything set in this country ? What it is -is the antiquated ideology that’s been in motion for far too long it’s because DUH DUH DUH . THATS JYST BEDN WHATS SLAAYS BEEN DONE , majority rules attitudes I never considering that other people may not believe or think that same way and actually live different lives And no one thought or ever sought to think that people would actually live a different lifestyle whether it’s regarding sexual orientation, sexuality whether your homosexual bisexual but not only this it’s looking outside sexuality just anything in how people live their lives outside of any one spectrum whether it be religious or any other way that people
      Like if they smoke ,drink, do drugs and countless other things that people do
      Look at the way out and how attitudes have changed at about marijuana use – but really still considered illegal Federally and yet there are multiple states in the United States ever legalized it recreationally and/or for medicinal use The biggest problem is is people need to mind their business and most cases let people of their lives as long as they’re not hurting anybody else genuinely don’t matter and all the Bible and Christians and other faiths who have pointed the finger at and scrutinize others because they’re not living how they believe
      Huge problem if you actually believe in any faith eso the Bible thumping god fearing brimstonefire types
      For you ,you might want to read that little God-fearing book called the Bible- one of the biggest things most Christian-based faiths You forget there’s a sense of what’s called free agency
      That you can choose how to live and you all that seem to fifer it go against this
      You’re ALL genuinely breaking that FACT big time it’s been since the main rule of the Catholic Church for many centuries earlier , on to many other Protestant faiths but any other faith for that matter
      Hell look at Eastern world like Asian Indian ( from Indian but Native American Indian Sorry not trying to be PC )they were know as Indians for a very long time it’s what we called Indian for the longest time and now just because of India -I’m not trying to be so PC for them ) but all European beliefs , Asian , African etc . Different cultures or beliefs like that of Hinduism Buddhism ,etc
      But when it all comes down to if anyone is honest – its been where it’s one person trying to tell another how someone else & how they should believe and behave … rather than people mind their biz and people just live their lives And it shouldn’t be about condoning whether people do things that are illegal because obviously if like you’re dealing drugs , or other criminal illegal stuff that is against laws set , unless you live in a state or other country where it is considered legal
      People should live their lives unless it’s something that generally affects you directly or your community it really isn’t your business and yet people in love themselves in things regarding the law or to set in motion some kind of legal status
      It is actually ridiculous and shouldn’t have been allowed because with any one person to say what another person can do unless it’s involving Actual direct harm on another person
      Mind your biz , it’s your opinions using , it’s not hurting you directly

  3. Darryl

    Discrimination of any kind is not only wrong it’s against the law. No matter how much they want to begin to use this kind of practice to stoke fear in many people in this country, we cannot allow for this to become normal every day procedure. Day after day some new bs controversial act from the drumpf administration, makes us feel like we don’t belong in our own country. Remember during drumpf’s campaign he said that he supported the LGBTQ community, now we find out it was another lie. How can we put trust or confidence in our government, when we see this kinds of shit happening. Who’s next on the hit list?

    • tek

      Bake the damn cake.

      Actually it isn’t necessarily the law, that is what the cases will determine. I think the actual issue is that sexual orientation IS NOT sex, and thus they are correct. I think we need the law to be changed to include sexual orientation. It can be ok to say what current law IS, and then discuss what it should be. But let’s just all scream at each other because everyone just wants to root for their “team” for whatever reason.

    • sickofit

      Sorry, but only discrimination based on the attributes listed in the civil rights law is illegal. As things stand right now, t’s perfectly legal for me to say e.g. “No Republicans” to a job applicant or a renter, or even a customer.

      If Facebook is allowed to block conservative postings because “hey, they’re a private company!” then other private companies should be allowed to discriminate as well. We can’t have our cake and eat it, too.

  4. DickPence...still single and looking

    If you really REALLY try to keep tabs on the source to the biggest problem of having a Fed government not supporting same sex relationships/etc….the source is not so much TRUMP….the big problem is his white shadow….VPPence.

    • Sickofit

      it’s exactly that situation that makes me shake my head in disbelief at all the “IMPEACH!!” crowd. Yeah, impeach Trump. Then PENCE will be president! I’m sure you’ll LOVE that!

      Idiots.

  5. stephen

    What I find to be really funny is about 20% of the LGBTQ community voted for this man in 2016 so you people just voted for the downfall of your own community and Ii bet you will still vote in 2020 for Trump LMFAO

    • tek

      In a true free market, you should be able to fire/hire whoever you want and let the market correct for what people do want. Not the government, which as a republic I’d prefer to see the states be more proactive.

    • Hunter0500

      20% of LGTBQwhatever individuals realized that they had concerns more important than just their sexuality (the economy, jobs, terrorism, etc.) In ’16, they felt that the candidate offered by the Democratic Party came up short in those areas. Unfortunately, with the current disarray of bickering by over 20 Democratic candidates (no firm agendas, no firm plans for action to move the US forward with only shotgun shots about “sexy” topics such as student loan foregiveness, immigration laws reform, healthcare, etc.), the Party is marching down the same path toward giving the Whitehouse to the Republicans again.

      • stephen

        I’m not talking about just sexuality but the rights that are being taken away from people who live in a democratic society and again jobs, economy, domestic terrorism is important but the funny thing is he’s done not one thing to improve or make toward improving these issue but he can make a quick and decisive blow about this which I think is very low on the scale of problems facing this country

        I don’t give a fuck about Dems or Republicans cause clearly neither party has shown a clear cut agenda for this country going into the future so vote for and stick with any party you

    • Marc

      This is exactly what I came here to say. I absolutely do not understand people who vote against their own interests. I think it’s the idea that “it won’t happen to me” but stuff like this leads us down a slippery slope.

  6. Lamar

    I wonder if it has or will dawn, on the minds or those whom still have-can access their minds, will realize, before it’s too late, what conservatism, politically speaking, what that really means-entails.

    Physically, mentally, ethically, civically: It means this,

    I, have no rights whatsoever to the aforementioned dynamics, as it relates to

    1. first-class citizenship, which means…not provided, currently anyway.
    2. No protection against physical abuse, often life threatening, being black and gay-simultaneously.
    3. Increasingly, no democracy or voting rights as a multi-generational citizen (since slavery)

    Lets look forward, into the future of this backwards trend. Sites like this may not exist, what for, why stop at the very basic rights? Force you-us back into the closets and shady-back alleys
    truck-stops, woods and such, tryin’ to nut with another man.

    So much for the “American experiment,” democracy, which is the very idea of what constitutes, being America, this continent. Like the lyrics of a song, “this is not, America,” is where we’re going at this point under the current situation.

    If, democracy and all the dynamics that fall under this apex, log-cabins, black republicans; thanks for your help in turning back the hands of time, fruitful struggle, progress. You, are hereby discharged, therefore relegated to the fate of the rest, that falls below our standards of the elite, as follows:

    1.You, as charged, are not Aryan and or white; or white enough genetically, if we can detect it.
    2. You, are not an acting or certified heterosexual, non, productive of white populous.

    As such, the real Americans, significantly, always were the people of color, actually, by nature of what democracy means to and thus carried out by, as the feature of our freedom.

    The clansmen, the white nationalists, are not the real Americans. By their very nature of what they wish to and by violent actions/means, wish to bring about, further, thus rendering America back to heinous past; before modernization in terms of the domestically, mostly- civil nation, that this country became.

    Will we continue, to be the “shining beacon on the hill….?”

    Or, is it just another continent for white and or, Aryan- conserving the past?

  7. Hunter0500

    The real issue is that the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was not written with sexual orientation in mind. Not intentional, of course. Orientation just wasn’t on the table at that time. Pro-LGTBQwhatevers are looking to shoehorn protection in. Others say, “Orientation wasn’t part of the law.”

    Let’s not kid ourselves; both Parties would undoubtedly take an opposite view if doing so supported their agendas.

    The Act needs amending. But of course, the Parties are much happier with hateful indignant bickering than working together and amending it.

  8. R L

    That transgender firing is based on the fact that someone switched physical gender to match psychological gender, is indeed discrimination based on sex. That is patently obvious.
    Firing of someone for sexual orientation is sex discrimination, once removed: it fires someone based on how he interacts with a given sex. If he dated a woman, he is fine, but if he dated a man, he is gone. That is discrimination based on sex. The law does not apply a possessive pronoun in its wording, so if we fire A because of the sex of his lover, B, that is discrimination based on sex.
    Let’s go further, shall we? Race, creed, color, religion, sex, or national origin are protected? Some of those are based on genetics, some are based on conscience, so they incorporate protections mentioned in the first, fourth, and fifth amendments. Do not tell me who you love is not a form of expression. Do not tell me views on love are not morally based, and since there are religions, including those of Native Americans, that recognize alternate gender expression, prohibition violates the First Amendment on two levels. As to freedom in person and effects, sexuality is as personal as it gets.
    Unreasonable searches and seizures include taking a job for something having nothing to do with the job. If someone has a sex change and is fired, but someone having a face lift is not, that is discrimination. If a person can hold the job as a male, but is fired for a sex change, that is gender discrimination.
    If someone can join a public softball team of bakers, but cannot join one for gay men, that is not renewal treatment. And if a man is fired for being gay, but another is not fired for living with a woman not his wife, we can’t claim morals as the ruling, so gender is the reason. And if someone fires both if those, if we find any religion that allows it, then it becomes a religious issue. It does not matter whether the fired person practiced the religion. If it follows the views of the firer, and the government allows it, they have de facto respected a particular religion, and they are wrong.
    This is so obvious!

  9. Tonycox

    Hmmm…let me see if I follow this logic correctly. If firing someone because of sexual orientation is legal, which seems to stem from religious beliefs, then I can be fired because I’m an atheist!?
    What’s next? I like broccoli and my boss doesn’t…so I need to start looking for other employment…ROFLMFAO!!!

  10. Laquesha

    Sorry, but transgender is not a protected species. Only thing worse than fish on the job is fake fish. Extra drama, and employers aren’t likely to want to deal with it. Sorry ‘Girls’, have to leave that foolishness at the T Bar

  11. Dicky

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is not ambiguous. Congress has had decades to amend this law as only congress can. The issue is with Pelosi and company who have the power to legislate and clarify the language of Title VII. Contact your congress person and demand that this be done NOW!

  12. Dan S

    Sexual definition according to Websters,,, sexual: of, or related with (sex or the sexes)

    having or involving sex…

    Discrimination definition according to Websters,,, the act, practice or an instance to discriminate categorically rather than individually

    put the two together and see the real answer that no court could deny

  13. bjjj

    The sooner Trump gets out of office the better! We are loosing all our rights as gay, bi, and transgender people. Also he is very racist. He is only for the rich, white, conservative, families and people. So much discrimination. And it’s getting worse.

  14. Paul Smith

    Nothing worse than stepping in dogshit someone forgot to remove from the sidewalk. Vote Democratic, they give a shit but not the kind they rub in your face. Always a matter of misinterpretation with the moral majority so fondly embraced by the Republican party. Shame on their willful misconduct!

  15. buz

    The blame goes to Congress. They are the branch of government for making the laws and responsible for amending laws..
    The 3 Branches are Government are:
    Executive
    Legislature
    Judicial
    You can’t blame the administration for everything. We, the people,
    elect our representatives, they work for us.
    Don’t re-elect a Congress person that is not doing their job to your liking.

  16. Matt

    As a gay man, transgender people are NOT my people. Gender queer people are not my people. Lesbians are not my people. We are so NOT in this together.

  17. Libertarian Queer

    We already covered this, Dave. Zarda got fired for feeling up women and then claiming he was gay when they bitched about it. He’s dead now, by the way. Bostock got fired because he pissed somebody off in the county government which brought on an audit, the results of which, didn’t look good so they let him go or he dragged up under pressure. Aimee Stevens got run off for refusing to dress like a male as expected of somebody with a pair of nuts in the funeral business. The employer gave him/her several opportunities to comply with the company dress code that he/she had followed for 6 YEARS and even offered a severance package which Stevens refused and got fired for refusing to follow the dress code he/she agreed to when hired on.

    This whole article is about nothing more than some queers with a lot of butt-hurt blaming their firings on being queer instead of their own failures as an employee. You, by continuing to spread the butt-hurt and refusing to report the facts, must also be loaded up with butt-hurt. The problems we as queers and whatever are having is not because of laws, it is because of the social construct we find ourselves a part of. Lots of people don’t like queers and most of the rest wish they didn’t have to deal with them and their drama. Even as a queer myself I can see why this is. When you are 3 to 5% of society, you don’t make the rules any more than you tell the tigers in India not to eat people. People and tigers do what they do and there is nothing you or some lawyer or 9 judges can do about it.

    • Lamar

      I don’t think you like queers either, let alone people of color, additionally, I think you have some rather ambivalent feelings about your being queer; powerless against your urges, however. You’d rather troll, hang in the dark corners of existence, you’re very self-loathing. “White and republican,” affiliations, these are your validations, the only thing you have to cling to. As there isn’t much else, you’re not strong in any sense of the meaning, cowardly, really. I know, in public someone pointing you out as GAY, you’d shrivel-up, you can’t stand on you’re own. Say what you will about black people, people of color, women, trannies or drag-queens, they have more balls than you do, clearly. You’re one of those apologetic people.

      • Libertarian Queer

        Lamar, you’re right. I don’t like good percentage of gay people because they, like you, always tend to have a “poor me syndrome”. They want to blame society for themselves. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you will remain a loser in life if you don’t take some time to get a deep introspective look at yourself and figure out you are not the center of the universe. You were born into a world and have failed to adapt to it because you’d rather sit around having a pity party over your blackness and gayness when that kind of attitude is unnecessary and destructive to your happiness and success.

        My favorite SCOTUS judge is Clarence Thomas. Is he a white republican, too? Or is he just some Uncle Tom in your clearly racist eyes? You obviously don’t understand the founding principles of this country as evidenced by some of your posts. This is a constitutional republic, NOT a democracy though our system does posess some elements of that. (If this were a democracy, laws on homosexuality would be fairly draconian at best.) It was designed to be a place where a person could succeed or fail based upon their own merits in the market of ideas. Because your ideas are devoid of merit, you are and will remain a big fat zero in life until you change your attitude and improve your understanding about how the world around you works. It ain’t my fault. It’s just the way it is. But, hey, maybe you’re also one of those people who aren’t happy unless they’re miserable.

        • Lamar

          Wow, you act, as though there is no bias, period, and you know better than that, somewhere, in that simplistic head of yours; totally in denial. Black people have been lynched, burned shot in church, all in the 20-21st century, mind you. Gay men have attacked and murdered, all in the 20th century once again. I’m a civic-minded, happy- to- be- me, man. Unlike you, some cowardly
          self hating-God knows what. I do, understand how it works, if, we as black people were to except, as you seemingly suggest, we would still be strung from trees!

          The way the world works, better for all, is that you stand-up for your rights, as humans for human dignity, ask the Italians, Jews, the Irish, ect., everybody’s gotta fight to be free (song lyrics-Tom Petty) dig-it.

          I stood for my rights and living a very good retired, rather luxurious life in the tropics of our great country American Exp dime at that, ’cause I stood for rights and they were forced to pay for their wrongs. I win! Because I’m brave and have balls to do so, unlike you, just keep hidden like a rat, what a way to survive, you’ve chosen. I only like the Tom and wimpy, kowtowing Clarence Thomas, ’cause he a pigeon, kissing white-ass. Yeah, that would give you a hard-on, someone as twisted as you, utterly evil.

  18. stephen

    People are commenting in agreement for this action and the republican party is proactive in changing the country. In the 4yrs they have been in power we have NO healthcare Big Pharm companies still raising the cost of prescriptions ( So what were they doing in the WH eating fast food and talking about Obama) we are about to have a recession only the 1% benefitted from the new tax plan people still work 3to4 jobs minimum wage is the same black unemployment is still the highest in the country (Trump has done lesser for blacks regardless of what he said) white male Domestic terrorism is on the rise and once again he flip-flopped on gun control blamed mental health issue on gun violence but CUT THE BUDGET on funds for mental healthcare and the man who said he can make any deal hasn’t…. YES I will vote Republican in 2020 they are doing such a great job


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