A landmark ruling was passed on Monday that comes as a defeat for the Trump administration.
The Supreme Court ruled that federal civil rights for gay, lesbian and transgender workers will be extended to protect them from job discrimination. The vote was 6-3. The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination based on sex; however it was argued that this did not extend to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation. The Court’s decision upholds rulings from lower courts that claim sexual orientation to be a form of sex discrimination.
During the Obama Administration, Attorney General Eric Holder interpreted Title VII as prohibiting employment discrimination based on an individual’s gender identity, and he included transgender status. However, in 2017, the Trump Administration’s former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the act does not protect transgender workers.
Approximately 1 million workers identify as transgender and 7.1 million are lesbian, gay and bisexual workers, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute. Only 21 states, plus the District of Columbia have statutes prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This ruling however will now provide protection for LGBTQ employees across the country.
This landmark civil rights law made for a huge victory for the LGBTQ community and advocates of gay and transgender rights.