Charlotte, NC – On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ employees are protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This protects them from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision was a 6-3 decision and the majority opinion was written by Justice Gorsuch.
In the opinion, Gorsuch wrote: “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 undisguishable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
Gorsuch continued, “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. But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands. 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.”
Yes, the writers of the Civil Rights Act probably did not imagine the extent that the law may apply. The 3 Justices who dissented were Justices Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh.
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