In another example of how freedoms won by portions of our population eventually become applicable to larger populations, the Supreme Court has extended the Civil Rights Act Employment Protections to LGBT citizens. While this won’t make a big difference locally as Tucson has long prided itself on it’s LGBT Discrimination Protection ordinances, this ruling will lift a major hurdle to the just and equal treatment of all Americans. Finally, some good news during a very difficult time in our country.
Tell Me About the Particulars
The Supreme Court’s 6-3 majority vote upheld lower court rulings which had interpreted sexual orientation discrimination as another form of sex discrimination. As discrimination based on sex is prohibited by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, discrimination based on sexual orientation is now prohibited immediately and throughout all 50 states. The big surprise was the composition of the majority, as both Chief Justice Roberts and new Justice Gorsuch joined the liberal side of the bench.
What Does This Ruling on LGBT Employment Protections Mean?
While the scope of the ruling is limited to the workplace, this ruling opens the door to many other legal challenges to established avenues of discrimination. Now, any issue of discrimination based upon sexual orientation can also be interpreted as sex discrimination, with activists targeting discrimination in medicine, school and housing.
As our country is once again grappling with what it means to be a citizen and whom is granted what rights, it is important to take a moment to savor this victory. Brave men and women have had to hide who they were in order to provide for themselves and their families. This will no longer be the case as, coast-to-coast, we are finally being granted the same protections other Americans have long cherished. It’s a case of “it’s never too late to do the right thing,” and I, for one, am thankful for a little good news!