The Supreme Court's ruling that a landmark civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender people from discrimination in employment is expected to have a major impact across the U.S. (June 15)
- The Supreme Court decided today that the 1964 Civil Rights Act Title VII, which prohibits job discrimination because of sex and for other reasons, specifically prohibits discrimination against LGBT people. It says that employers cannot fire people because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity. It was a 6 to 3 decision. And somewhat of a surprise, it was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, who is one of President Donald Trump's two appointees to the Supreme Court.
The ruling has a very practical effect. In about half the states, people were not protected by state law from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. So now this means that people everywhere in the country are protected. And there are, according to some estimates, more than 8 million LGBT people who are employed in the United States.
Justice Gorsuch wrote today that there are questions that remain unresolved from today's ruling. For instance, what about sex-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms? What about other issues of-- in under-- in education under Title IX of the same law, are there protections for transgender and gay people in that law?
Those are questions not answered today nor was there any resolution of whether people could raise a religious objection to having to comply with Title VII when it comes to the gay, and lesbian, and transgender people. Those are questions that Gorsuch said were not before the court today but could well be before the court in the coming years.