In a landmark case today, SCOTUS ruled that Title VII’s protections from workplace discrimination “because of … sex” apply to LGBTQ employees. In a trio of cases challenging discriminatory actions of employers, the court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ employees from being discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The following is a statement of Dariely Rodriguez, director of the Economic Justice Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
“This ruling is critical to maintaining vital protections for LGBTQ workers against workplace discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation. Protections against discrimination are critically important now in the midst of massive unemployment rates resulting from a pandemic that has left many marginalized workers experiencing significant job insecurity. This decision ensures that some of our nation’s most vulnerable workers can rely on important civil rights protections in the workplace.”
“The LGBTQ community, particularly LGBTQ people of color, are often subjected to workplace discrimination and harassment, resulting in lower job security and economic stability. The Supreme Court reinforced that such discrimination has no place in our workplaces and in our society.
“Our country’s diversity is rapidly increasing, with more people including people of color identifying as LGBTQ. Despite LGBTQ people of color making significant contributions to our society, they suffer higher rates of job discrimination than their white counterparts. Title VII has made significant strides to make the workforce more diverse and inclusive, and its sweeping text is intended to ensure employees, regardless of their identity can meaningfully participate in our economy without fear of harassment or discrimination. The court’s ruling cements workplace protections under federal law for LGBTQ+ workers across America.”
And a statement from Rabbi Michael Lerner editor of Tikkun:
First, hurray. Discrimination against any group is ethically outrageous,and all the more so if it is directed at people because of their gender, race, skin color, religion, ethnicity, nationality or immigration status.
One might wonder why this happens at this time from a court which has systematically disadvantaged the voting rights and other rights of people of color and poor people while granting huge victories to the super-rich. Here are 2 speculations:
- The rise of anti-racist consciousness in the past few weeks has led even establishment institutions towant to change their image. Granting employment rights of LGBTQ people is a step that doesn’t reverse all the ways that this court has supported voter suppression, denial of voting rights,striking down restrictions on how much money corporations and the rich can use to influence the outcome of elections, and refusing to rectify practices on state and national elections that make voting extremely difficult for many areas known to have either abundong people of color or progressive voters.
- The indication in polls that many people are moving to the Left raises the possibility that a liberal wave in the Congress and President might be followed by attempts to expand the Supreme Court justices so that liberals could have a chance in expanding voter rights and more generally human rights. A human rights ruling of this sort might make that harder to get thru even a liberal or progressives Congress and White House. However, if that plays some role in their decision,they need not worry. There is no evidence that Joe Biden has the dedication to progressive and liberal causes sufficient to be standing up against the still-real power of the corporate elite, or the courage to do so. As a nonprofit we do not endorse electoral candidates or political parties.
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