The Supreme Court transgender case ruled on Monday that federal anti-discrimination laws protect gay and transgender employees, a major gay rights ruling written by one of the court’s most conservative justices. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s liberals in the 6 to 3 ruling .
“Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear,” Gorsuch wrote. “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
supreme court transgender case facts:
Three employees sued their companies after they had been fired for being gay. One of them was Gerald Bostock who won awards for his work as a child welfare coordinator for Clayton County, Ga. He was fired after he joined a gay softball league. He lost his livelihood and his medical insurance while he was recovering from prostate cancer.
The second case involved Donald Zarda who worked as a skydiving instructor at Altitude Express out of Long Island where he offhandedly mentioned to a female student that he was gay in an effort to make her more comfortable with their close physical contact while jumping out of the aircraft. After the jump, he was fired.
Tragically, Don wasn’t able to observe the arguments or learn of his victory of his fight against workplace discrimination. In 2014, Don died in an accident that occurred while BASE jumping
The third case was brought by Aimee Stephens, who had worked for six years as a male funeral director in Livonia, Mich., but was fired two weeks after she told her boss that she was transgender and would be coming to work as a woman. She died earlier this year, but her case lived on.
Gorsuch and Roberts were joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
“This is a huge victory for LGBTQ equality,” said James Esseks of the American Civil Liberties Union. He added: “The Supreme Court’s clarification that it’s unlawful to fire people because they’re LGBTQ is the result of decades of advocates fighting for our rights. The court has caught up to the majority of our country, which already knows that discriminating against LGBTQ people is both unfair and against the law.”
For 50 years, courts interpreted Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination because of sex to mean only that women could not be treated worse than men, and vice versa, not that discrimination on the basis of sex included LGBTQ people.
The dissenting justices — Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Brett M. Kavanaugh — agreed with that view.
“If every single living American had been surveyed in 1964, it would have been hard to find any who thought that discrimination because of sex meant discrimination because of sexual orientation — not to mention gender identity, a concept that was essentially unknown at the time,” wrote Alito, who was joined by Thomas in his dissent.
The dissenters said their colleagues were amending the law, not interpreting it.
“The court has previously stated, and I fully agree, that gay and lesbian Americans ‘cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth,’ ” Kavanaugh wrote, quoting a previous case.
But he added: “Our role is not to make or amend the law. As written, Title VII does not prohibit employment discrimination because of sexual orientation.”
Gorsuch surprises everyone at Supreme Court transgender case
Gorsuch, President Trump’s first nominee to the court, said that was wrong. The text of the law makes clear that gay and transgender workers who are fired for their sexuality are fired because of sex, he wrote.
“It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex,” Gorsuch wrote. “Consider, for example, an employer with two employees, both of whom are attracted to men. The two individuals are, to the employer’s mind, materially identical in all respects, except that one is a man and the other a woman. If the employer fires the male employee for no reason other than the fact he is attracted to men, the employer discriminates against him for traits or actions it tolerates in his female colleague.”
It was exactly the message that lawyers for the gay and transgender employees had made, and was striking that it came from one of the court’s most conservative justices.
Gorsuch acknowledged that lawmakers in 1964 were probably not protecting gay and transgender workers. But the words of the statute they wrote do that, he said.
Another article here: http://immigrationreformnews.com/clayton-barnes-denied-citizenship/