In a landmark decision this week, the Supreme Court ruled that employees cannot be fired for being LGBTQ+ as part of civil rights laws that prevent employer discrimination.
This is huge. Almost as significant as the protective ruling was the fact that two conservatives sided with the liberal Judges – an indication that the needle of social justice issues pertaining to gender and sexual orientation has shifted across the broad social spectrum – something that LATV cheers on and continues to strive for.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, who is considered one of the more conservative justices on the Supreme Court, surprised many after he authored Monday’s landmark decision guaranteeing LGBTQ+ people protection from workplace discrimination. Gorsuch wrote in the 6-3 decision that the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of “sex” in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act also applies to gay and transgender employees.
“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,” Gorsuch wrote. “We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.”
His 33-page opinion prompted anger from social conservative voices who counted on the Trump appointee to be a reliable ally of on the high court.
President Trump said this week that the White House would “live with” the Supreme Court ruling.
“I’ve read the decision, and some people were surprised,” Trump said. “But they’ve ruled and we live with their decision.”
“I was quite surprised to see how the Court ruled in this case,” Katharine Franke, a law professor at Columbia University, told The Hill. “The fact that two of the more conservative members of the Supreme Court joined in the decision reaching this result today signals a tipping point in securing full equality for LGBT people.”
“Quite clearly, this ruling will have implications beyond the workplace, and will include rights to equality for LGBT people in healthcare, housing, public accommodations, foster care, and other important settings,” she added.