SCOTUS Debates Landmark LGBT Employment Case

The Supreme Court has started hearing arguments on three related cases this week. All three cases revolve around whether or not it was lawful for an employer to fire someone who is gay, lesbian or transsexual. Left-wing activists protested this week to say that these are landmark cases in determining LGBTQ rights. Depending on the ruling, the court’s decision could possibly result in it being illegal for an employer to discriminate based on a person’s sexual preference or gender expression, when previously the law had only clearly protected a person from discrimination based on biological sex.

The first two cases concerned a pair of lawsuits from gay men who say they were fired because of their sexual orientation. The second was about a suit from a transgender woman, Aimee Stephens, who said her employer fired her when she announced that she would embrace her gender identity at work.

If the Supreme Court rules that these people were fired because of their sexual preference or trans status, fair or not, the court's decision on whether this is lawful could have wide reaching consequences. The court spent a lot of time talking about how making this kind of discrimination illegal would affect what bathrooms employees need access to and whether or not a sports leagues could only allow players of one biological sex.

It all comes down to how the Supreme court is going to interpret Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Whatever the ruling, this is likely to be a landmark case with broad implications in the application of US law.


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