In a landmark ruling, decided by a 6-3 vote, the US Supreme Court ruled overwhelmingly that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a form of sex discrimination and therefore prohibited by the Civil Rights Act.
Voting in favour were Justices Gorsuch Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Chief Justice John Roberts.
This is a critical case for the USA, where more than half the states do not have explicit protection against discrimination for LGBT+ people.
The ruling comes at a time when the Trump administration has rolled back numerous advances in the protection of particularly trans people, including the Department of Health removing protection from discrimination for trans people in healthcare on Friday, 12 June 2020.
The Justice Department argued that Title VII doesn’t cover discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Executive Director of OutRight Action International, Jessica Stern, comments, “The Supreme Court stating explicitly that under the Civil Rights Act discrimination based on sex includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a tremendous victory.
“The decision comes at a time when the Trump administration has been viciously attacking the rights of LGBTIQ people, in particular trans people. It will protect millions of Americans from discrimination in the workplace, and sends a powerful message – that political power-play can not erase basic human rights. This judgment will have implications for LGBTIQ people everywhere – governments and movements are inspired by each other, and landmark judgments are quoted by courts across the world. OutRight welcomes, and celebrates this ruling!”