Written by Giavanna Foster
The LGBTQ community and their fight for equal rights in the workplace made national news this week. The Supreme Court made a groundbreaking ruling this week, establishing that LGBTQ employees are protected from discrimination and being fired in the workplace. Here is a recap:
The Supreme Court’s ruling for Bostock v. Clayton County has established more protection for LGBTQ employees. Gerald Bostock was fired in Clayton County, Georgia after he joined a gay softball team. More employee discrimination lawsuits were filed as a rising number of employees were fired strictly because they identified as gay or transgender. On June 15, during Pride Month, the Supreme Court ruled to protect the rights of LGBTQ employees. In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court justices voted to protect LGBTQ workers from discrimination. The three dissenting opinions were filed by justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Neil Gorsuch, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, delivered the majority ruling.
Associate justices Ruth B. Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia M. Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and chief justice John Roberts voted to protect the rights of LGBTQ employees. Gorsuch also stated that individuals who discriminate on the basis of one’s gender or identity are defying the law. Specifically, Neil Gorsuch voiced that Title VII was written with the purpose of protecting every person’s rights and individuality in America:
“Only the written word is law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit. Even though the drafters, the Congress that voted on the President that signed that 1964 Civil Rights Act may not have had gay and transgender and lesbian people in their mind, they wrote a law that embraces them. And today, all Americans are protected from discrimination at work by that law,” Gorsuch voiced.
After Neil Gorsuch delivered the Supreme Court’s ruling, Gerald Bostock expressed gratitude as well as hope for the future:
“…I’m grateful to the justices for giving us that historic opinion this morning just after 10 o’ clock. I’m grateful to my wonderful legal team, to my fantastic circle of family and friends and my partner… Nobody has to be fearful that they could lose their job because of who they are,” Bostock responded. “I do have hope for the future… My hope is that it (the ruling) will put a little bit of sunshine out there…”