People rally for federally protected LGBT rights in the workplace in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2019. Today, they — we — won our case.
The Supreme Court ruled [today] that the key federal law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace protects gay, lesbian or transgender employees from being disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation.
Two of the court’s Republican appointees, Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts, joined the court’s Democratic appointees to deliver the surprising, 6-3 victory to LGBT advocates.
Writing for the court’s majority, Gorsuch accepted arguments that the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition on sex discrimination in employment also effectively banned bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity, even though few if any members of Congress thought they were doing that at the time.
“Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result. Likely, they weren’t thinking about many of the Act’s consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees,” Gorsuch wrote.
“But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands,” he continued. “When the express terms of a statute give us one answer and extratextual considerations suggest another, it’s no contest. Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit.”
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh dissented from the ruling. …
It’s funny how even though the spirit of the Civil Rights Act always has been crystal clear — sex discrimination is discrimination that’s rooted in the individual’s sex, and so if, say, you maintain that as a man you can fire me for being in a relationship with another man, you clearly are discriminating against me on the basis of my sex (you claim that I “should” be only with a woman — or that if I’m with a man I “should” be only a woman) — the ignorant haters have demanded the “right” to unconstitutionally discriminate against non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming individuals because such hatred and malice was not explicitly prohibited in the language of the law, which was written when LGBT individuals didn’t even exist. (They never were discussed in “polite” company, so they must not have existed, right?)
Again: It’s funny how the homophobes, most of them “Christian,” insist on hating and discriminating against unless the law explicitly prohibits it. They have no inner moral compass; they know only the ignorance and the hatred that they are taught, usually under some degree of duress (the [albeit bogus] threat of eternal hell fire, for example, would be duress).
The Supreme Court’s surprise ruling — which is going to be more difficult for the “Christo”fascists to attack, since it was decided 6-3 — means that the effort to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which was meant to codify LGBT protections against discrimination into federal law, is now moot.
The last major Supreme Court decision regarding LGBT rights before today’s was June 2015’s Obergefell vs. Hodges, which required same-sex marriage to be legally recognized throughout the nation.
Keep in mind something: The constitutional rights to marry a member of your own sex — to not be discriminated against on the basis of your biological sex where marriage rights are concerned — and not to be discriminated against in the workplace because of who or what you are always have existed.
That is, human rights and constitutional rights inherently exist. They’re not given, they’re not granted, they don’t have to be fucking earned. No, the case is that either they are recognized as the rights that they are or they illegally and immorally are not recognized as the rights that they are.
The discrimination against LGBT individuals has been illegal as well as immoral all along. It’s only that today, we’re finally formally recognizing that fucking fact.
And, of course, just as federally recognized and protected same-sex marriage didn’t magically eliminate discrimination against LGBT individuals, this Supreme Court ruling won’t, either.
But it’s a pretty good place to start.