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Supreme Court Rules You Cannot Fire Someone for Being Gay or Transgender

YAY!

pride flag

In a monumental and surprising ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that it is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights act to fire someone for their sexual orientation or because they are transgender. This is a huge win for LGBT people and a big expansion of protections for the community from the highest court in the land.

Is a combined ruling is a combined one for three cases  Bostock v. ClaytonAltitude v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC. The first two cases invilved an employee being fired for their sexual orientation while the third involved the firing of a trans woman, who has since passed away (the case was continued by her family).

All the cases asked the Supremes to interpret Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of “sex” and these cases asked the Supreme Court to decide if “sex” encompasses sexual orientation and being transgender. They said yes.

In an opinion written by, of all people, Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch, the court held:

“Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in thedecision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”

Especially coming days after the Trump administration stripped transgender people of protections under the Affordable Care Act, this truly great news for the LGBT community and a real reason to celebrate during Pride month. It’s an inspiring and wonderful thing to happen amidst ALL of this terribleness, and it’s especially great considering that a positive decision in the case wasn’t guaranteed.

So, for what feels like the first time in a long time, let’s celebrate something great!

(via: SCTOUS Blog, image: Flickr)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.