MEDA was pleased to see on June 15 that the Supreme Court moved LGBTQIA+ rights another huge step forward.
The court’s majority opinion asserted that the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination in employment also banned bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
With this ruling, millions of LGBTQIA+ Americans have been guaranteed equal rights in the workplace. “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,” wrote Justice Gorsuch in the majority opinion.
According to the Human Rights Commission, prior to this decision only 22 states and the District of Columbia prohibited public and private workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, while 11 others offered some protections for LGBTQIA+ residents. In 17 states, no protections existed at all — an unscrupulous situation that has now been remedied in law.
MEDA vows to continue to:
- Stand alongside the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly queer and trans people of color who face systemic discrimination in our immigration and criminal justice systems.
- Offer opportunity to LGBTQIA+ community members and their families to thrive economically, especially through assistance with jobs, tax preparation, small-business development and affordable housing.
- Advocate for public investment to strengthen the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Create equitable and fair workplace opportunities for current and future LGBTQIA+ employees at MEDA itself.
This decision complements that of a landmark decision of five years ago, when the Supreme Court declared that it was a fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry. Now, anti-bias laws will cover millions of gay, lesbian and transgender workers. Together, this pair of rulings are a big step in the right direction.
While these rights and protections enshrine equality into our country’s laws, it is our collective responsibility to make this truth the lived reality that queer people experience throughout our society. As we near the 50th anniversary of the first gay pride parade, we reaffirm our unwavering support of the LGBTQIA+ community.