It couldn’t have happened at a better time: Pride Month.
For years, the LGBT movement has been fighting for the most basic of rights. Time and time again the proverbial can has been kicked further and further down the road.
Today, however, the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 6-3 decision, found in favor of the LGBT community. So what exactly does this ruling mean?
It’s actually a rather major victory but at the same time only a partial one. This ruling has to do with discrimination in the workplace.
We’re all aware of the signs that businesses hang usually near the time clock that say something along the lines of “We’re an equal opportunity employer and don’t discriminate based on age, gender, religion, race or national origin.
This law was all part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Over the years, Congress has tried and failed to introduce new legislation to protect the LGBT populace from workplace discrimination and failed. This ruling goes back to the original title VII of the 1964 act.
Most surprising of all, the majority opinion was written by none other than Justice Neil Gorsuch. For those of you not in the know, he’s about as conservative as they come. He’s also known as a hard-line interpreter of the law, believing in the literal letter of it rather than interpretations of it.
True to who he is, Justice Gorsuch stuck to the letter of the law when he penned his response for the majority saying:
“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 the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”Justice Neil Gorsuch
It’s a big, big win for the LGBT community, but it is in fact a small part of the battle.
This protection in the work place is really just the tip of the iceburg for rights that the LGBT community have been lacking. Many of the laws that protect us that we take for granted are not available to the LGBT community; among those are such things as marriage equality and protection and domestic violence protection.
This ruling also doesn’t write workplace protection into stone for the LGBT community either. It does’t prevent a future congress from legislating restrictions to the law to once again disenfranchise the LGBT community.
So although the war for equal rights is really just getting going for the LGBT community, this battle is a big win and puts them in a position to not only work even harder for more, but to expect more as well.
So keep fighting the good fight, folks!
Congratulations on a victory a long time coming!