The United States’ Supreme Court has ruled it illegal for an employer to sack LGBTQs on the premise of their sexual or gender identity.
The court’s ruling has extended the scope of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion, to include LGBTQ people.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch, who authored the majority’s opinion, joined the liberal wing of the bench in ruling that “an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.”
For such said, “Judges are not free to overlook plain statutory commands on the strength of nothing more than suppositions about intentions or guesswork about expectations.”
He added that “In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee’s sex when deciding to fire that employee. We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.”
The cases involving Title VII, of which there were three before the court, were the first involving LGBTQ rights to reach the justices since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018.
Kennedy authored the majority opinions in all major gay rights cases decided by the court, and President Trump replaced him with Justice Brett Kavanaugh, an appointment that shifted the court rightward.