ALL NEWS

Supreme Court says federal law protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination

Jun 15, 2020, 8:14 AM | Updated: 9:25 am

expanding supreme court...

FILE - In this June 24, 2019 file photo, the empty courtroom is seen at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. Because of the coronavirus pandemic the Supreme Court is holding arguments by phone for the first time in its 230-year history. Attorneys say the teleconference arguments in 10 cases over six days present a range of challenges. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    (CNN) — Federal civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The landmark ruling will extend protections to millions of workers nationwide and is a defeat for the Trump administration, which argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that bars discrimination based on sex did not extend to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation.

The 6-3 opinion was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberal justices.

“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,” Gorsuch wrote.

“There is simply no escaping the role intent plays here: Just as sex is necessarily a but-for cause when an employer discriminates against homosexual or transgender employees, an employer who discriminates on these grounds inescapably intends to rely on sex in its decisionmaking,” the opinion read.

“Today’s decision is one of the court’s most significant rulings ever with respect to the civil rights of gay and transgender individuals,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

“On its terms, the decision is only about discrimination in the workplace,” Vladeck added. “But it inevitably opens the door to a host of other challenges to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status on the ground that it, too, is impermissibly based upon sex. In that respect, only the court’s 2015 ruling recognizing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage may be equally as significant.”

The LGBTQ community is made of up of approximately 1 million workers who identify as transgender and 7.1 million lesbian, gay and bisexual workers, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute.

Twenty-two states, plus the District of Columbia have statutes protecting workers based on sexual orientation, according to the Williams Institute. Twenty-one states plus DC have statutes protecting workers from discrimination based on gender identity.

Justice Samuel Alito, one of the court’s conservatives, wrote in his dissent that “even if discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity could be squeezed into some arcane understanding of sex discrimination, the context in which Title VII was enacted would tell us that this is not what the statute’s terms were understood to mean at that time.”

Meanwhile, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, another conservative on the bench, acknowledged the social and political progress achieved by members of the LGBTQ community, but nonetheless dissented.

“They have advanced powerful policy arguments and can take pride in today’s result. Under the Constitution’s separation of powers, however, I believe that it was Congress’s role, not this Court’s, to amend Title VII. I therefore must respectfully dissent from the Court’s judgment,” Kavanaugh wrote.

This story has been updated with additional information from the opinion.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Chronic absenteeism, classroom...

Eric Cabrera

Proposed law addresses chronic absenteeism in schools

A new law aims to identify and address students who are continuously absent from school in grades K-12 by bring teacher and parents together.

16 minutes ago

A pail rests next to caution tape on a beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2...

Associated Press

Young girl killed when a hole she dug in the sand collapsed on a Florida beach, authorities said

A young girl died Tuesday when a deep hole she was digging collapsed on her at a south Florida beach, authorities said.

2 hours ago

Sensitive material bill passes...

Tim Vandenack, KSL.com

Utah Senate, House reach compromise on ‘sensitive materials’ bill

The Senate gave the reworked "sensitive materials" measure the green light in a 19-8 vote on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024.

3 hours ago

K9 officers stand with police dogs next to a Life Flight Helicopter. A new program by Intermountain...

ALEX CABRERO

New Life Flight program will fly police dogs injured in the line of duty

A new program by Intermountain Health will allow for any police K-9 injured in the line of duty to be flown by Life Flight.

3 hours ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018....

MEAD GRUVER Associated Press

A Colorado man is dead after a pet Gila monster bite

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death if the creature's venom was the cause.

4 hours ago

Visitors stand at the closed gates leading to the Eiffel Tower, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 in Paris....

OLEG CETINIC Associated Press

Eiffel Tower operator warns the landmark is closed as strike turns visitors away for a second day

A strike at the Eiffel Tower over poor financial management turned away visitors on Tuesday for the second consecutive day.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Supreme Court says federal law protects LGBTQ workers from discrimination