(Photo Credits: Screengrab from @barackobama’s Official Facebook Account)
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on Monday—June 15, 2020—that it is illegal for employers to fire workers simply for being gay or transgender because this violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Justice Neil Gorsuch—who was appointed by President Donald J. Trump—wrote the landmark 6-3 ruling issued by the Supreme Court. It reads:
“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.”
Further, the decision said, “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.” It added, “It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”
Justice Gorsuch was joined by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and liberal, Democratic-appointed Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer.
Conservative Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Clarence Thomas, and Brett M. Kavanaugh on the other hand, had dissented from said ruling. Read the story in full here and here.
Last year, the Supreme Court heard 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.
The aforementioned cases are the Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda consolidated with Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and the R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Zarda case involved the late skydiving instructor Donald Zarda who was “fired because of his sexual orientation and also because he did not conform to male gender stereotypes.”
Gerald Bostock, on the other hand, was a child welfare services coordinator since 2003. He was fired in 2013 because his employer found out that he is gay after he began participating in a gay recreational softball league.
Lastly, the R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case involved the late Aimee Stephens (she passed away last month at the age of 59). She had been the funeral director at R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes for almost six years but was promptly fired after coming out to her workplace as a transgender woman. Ms. Stephens was told by her boss that: “coming to work dressed as a woman was not going to be acceptable.”
It can be remembered that the Trump administration filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court last year 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.
Meanwhile, former US President Barack Obama took to social media to wish the LGBTQ community a “Happy Pride Month” after the win:
According to CNN, this landmark decision has far-reaching consequences and will “change how more than 7 million LGBTQ individuals will live and work in the United States.”
Take a look at what the netizens are saying on Twitter about the ruling below:
The day after a historic #SupremeCourtRuling, the @librarycongress documents the history of #LGBTQRights activism in StoryMap form https://t.co/KwGkA3HLVD pic.twitter.com/cfbMn5NMri— Allen Carroll (@AllenCarroll) June 16, 2020
We aren’t done yet!#LGBTQRights #SCOTUS pic.twitter.com/ykIXQDQgtb— (almost) dr michael 🏳️🌈 (@almostdr_obrien) June 15, 2020
#LGBTQRights Until today, you could be fired for being #LGBTQ in 26 US states. No longer!— Dan Nomura (@DanNomura) June 15, 2020
"All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential."–Harvey Milkhttps://t.co/1ZNNlFbfZ4
Love the argument in this case that sex is now the same as gender is now the same as sexual orientation.
This should have been a separate law… the ruling on this is a -huge- can of worms, and pretty clearly not the intent of the law from the 60s.
As are my comments to this blog.
Too many Liberals are entreating The Supreme Court to rule on Morality…not Ethics. You cannot mandate morality through legislation.
This ruling will have far-reaching effects…none of which is intended but most of which will be unfortunate.
A law that cannot be logically enforced is academic and therefore, incidental…as is most of the Liberal mandates.
Dave: I applaud The Supreme Court’s Ruling as it will make an immediate difference. However, the long-term ramifications…employers “will have to be and will be” more creative and more clandestine about firing those whom they do not want. The two dissenting Supreme Court Justices understood what I just wrote and know that, regardless of a Supreme Court Ruling, only the most obvious cases of Sex Oriented Discrimination will be noted and adjudicated. THE SUBLIME IS JUST THAT, AND BY DEFINITION, OFTEN FALLS ON BLIND EYES AND DEAF EARS! Accordingly, the “already stated Discrimination Laws” forbid such… Read more »
It’s no longer a crime, like it once was; to congregate at public/gay establishments- fornicate w/same sex, so why should you be aloud to ‘legally’ fire someone for being gay or lesbian, so really it’s a crime to fire someone for such, as it should be. It is no longer considered an illness to be trans either, nor is it a crime of any type, for obvious reasons; the world can no longer afford to return to the past. So as far as civil-rights goes, yeah, this has to fit under that umbrella/law as an addendum. So at that point,… Read more »
“So as far as civil-rights goes, yeah, this has to fit under that umbrella/law as an addendum.”
But that isn’t the place of the Supreme Court to do. If Congress wanted to pass that law, they should. What we don’t need is un-elected court members re-writing laws based on what they think is correct. Which is what happened here, in addition to their twisting logic to make the decision… which will have both positive and negative effects on later (and lower) court rulings.
This is a dangerous precedent and shouldn’t have happened this way. It’s not good.
“Congress,” lmao! And you know why I’m laughing, in a word: dysfunctional. I’m one of those rare individuals who’s always hated “it’s not my job” damnit the hell, just do it!
The Community will proudly be able to wave their rainbow flags over this ruling … no one can have their job terminated due to their orientation. The underbelly is whenever a company sees an overt LGTBQ individual in a pool of applicants, that person could swiftly be moved to the group dismissed and called “thank you for your application. We are moving forward with applicants that are more closely in line with our needs.” Why would they hire an individual who if down the road presented performance issues, or due to a downturn in business needed to be furloughed, they… Read more »
We are on the same plane!
What you wrote is going to be compounded by Employers. Employers will stay clear of potential complications and protracted law-suits by avoiding the Albatrosses.
And now, because of this misguided mandate, employers will look elsewhere for prospective employees and The LGTBQ will be further ostracized as a unnecessary burden.
Unfortunately, like the treaties for the Indigenous (Indian-givers) like civil rights for blacks, like woman’s reproductive rights, we all know, like democracy itself, there’s always the devious undermining progress.
Freedom/s already won “on the books” anyway; now you’ll have fight to keep what was given/won, the illness of ‘white-elite’ America does things, it’s a matter of pathology; psychological speaking. No, you really cannot “legislate” honesty/integrity with those that are pathologically sick liars.
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[…] recently, she voted for the protection of the LGBTQ workers against discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity […]
[…] transgender because this violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Read more about this here. […]