WASHINGTON D.C. (CW44 News At 10) – A major victory in the battle for LGBTQ rights. The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that the federal law protecting workers on the basis of sex also applies to sexual orientation.
In a landmark decision for LGBTQ rights, the Supreme Court ruled, employers cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In a six – three ruling, the nation’s highest court made it clear the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bars discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, origin or religion, protects gay and transgender workers.
“It’s been a long journey and we finally made it here.” said Gerald Bostocks, a plaintiff, when he traveled to Washington D.C. for oral arguments last October. He says he lost his job in Clayton County, Georgia after joining a gay softball league. “I did nothing wrong and now I have some validation in that.” Bostocks was one of three cases heard at the court that day.
Amy Stevens, who says she was fired for being transgender wrote a statement before passing away last month, saying in part, “I am glad the Court recognized that what happened to me is wrong and illegal.”
“We can go to work and not have to be in fear that being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender will now be a blank check for employers to discriminate against us.” Says Sharon McGown of Lambda Legal, whom has been litigating these cases for more than 15 years. She says the significance of today’s ruling, it will create a uniform standard nationwide. She continues, “It doesn’t matter whether you work in Illinois or Missouri doesn’t matter whether or not you are in Ohio or Indiana. You will now have the full protection of Federal Law.”
Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh dissented. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote, “We are judges, not members of Congress. Our role is not to make or amend the law.” But in the majority opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote, “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the laws.”