Adelante Magazine applauds the Supreme Court decision affirming civil rights law protections to LGBT people which was released to the public on June 15, 2020. The community has been waiting for these consolidated decisions from three cases in front of the court.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that LGTBQ+ employees are protected from workplace discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, wrote the majority decision finding Title VII’s protection extends to sexual orientation and gender identity. He was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh dissented.
The decision provides consistency and may require reversal of many measures that effectively allow discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. While the scope of the Court’s decision will be debated, its implications for workplaces across the country likely will be significant. There are parts of the country which, up until this point, allow discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This is not the case in places like California which has long held protections to LGBT people.
This is perhaps the most significant ruling for LGBTQ people by the court because under this ruling, LGBTQ communities are protected from employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and mandates that protections are extended under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This decision is perhaps even more significant than that of Marriage Equality given that nearly all people in our community must work to provide for themselves and now their employment will be equally protected under United States law as this ruling takes effect.
It is also significant because the majority decision was written by Justice Gorsuch, considered a conservative judge and an appointee of President Donald Trump. Also significant was that Justice Gorsuch was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, also considered a conservative judge and an appointee of President George W. Bush.
Supreme Court Decision
The Court ruled Title VII’s ban on “sex”-based discrimination prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. It also ruled Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender claimants based on their transgender status. Justice Gorsuch wrote, “When an employer fires an employee for being homosexual or transgender, it necessarily intentionally discriminates