As much of the nation continues to fight for racial justice and equality in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the Supreme Court has now announced a major ruling in regard to the prejudices that some Americans faced on the grounds of their sexual orientation.
The ruling, which came as a part of a multi-faceted dockets of cases, tied LGBTQ rights into the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Supreme Court handed a big win to the LGBT community Monday, ruling in a 6-3 decision that an employer who fires a worker for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act — which already protected people from employer sex discrimination, as well as discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin.
The decision dealt with three cases. In one, Clayton County, Georgia employee Gerald Bostock was fired from his job as a child welfare advocate for conduct “unbecoming” a county employee soon after he joined a gay softball league. In another, New York skydiving instructor Donald Zarda was fired days after mentioning he was gay, and in a third, Michigan funeral home worker Aimee Stephens was fired after she told her employer that she would be identifying as a woman six years into her employment.
Several conservative judges sided with the liberal argument in the adjudication.
“Ours is a society of written laws. Judges are not free to overlook plain statutory commands on the strength of nothing more than suppositions about intentions or guesswork about expectations. In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee’s sex when deciding to fire that employee,” said the court’s opinion, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Those who dissented, including recent SCOTUS appointee Brett Kavanuagh, did so on the grounds that the court’s action was more akin to legislation than adjudication.
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