FRAMINGHAM – On Monday morning, the Supreme Court announced its ruling in favor of LGBTQ+ employee protection by three Supreme Court Cases.
Two of the cases, Bostock v. Clayton County, GA and Altitude Express Inc v. Zarda, involved employees being fired on the basis of their sexual orientation. The other case, R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employee Opportunity Commission involved a transgender employee being fired on the basis of her gender identity.
The decision was in response to the question of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment against individuals simply because they are gay or transgender.
The court ruled in favor by a 6-3 opinion, with Justice Neil M. Gorsuch writing the majority opinion, and was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.
In the majority opinion, Gorsuch wrote that “an employer who fired 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” and “sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
Across America, 21 states had their own laws prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Supreme Court Monday’s ruling means federal law now provides similar protection for LGBT employees for the entire United States.
District 5 City Councilor Robert Case, chair of the Education Subcommittee, discussed the importance of the ruling for the LGBTQ+ youth in Framingham, saying that “it is so important that students and young people can grow up knowing they can live and work safely everywhere, no matter where they live in the US.”
State Representative Jack Patrick Lewis (D-Framingham), who represents Framingham & Ashland said in a statement that he “[celebrates] today’s Supreme Court ruling, a ruling that brings our country closer to the values we have long claimed but never fully embraced.”
He also brings to attention that “the struggle for justice is far from over and we must continue the fight to end systemic inequality.”
State Rep. Maria Robinson (D-Framingham) said it’s a “huge relief to many in our community that the Supreme Court ruled against base discrimination” and is”grateful the highest court in the land recognized these basic civil rights.”
The organization OUT MetroWest said it is “heartened by the Supreme Court’s ruling prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of sexual rientation and gender identity,” especially in current times when “hard-won protections for LGBTQ+ people are in jeopardy.”
It is estimated more than 11 million individuals in America identify as LGBTQ+, with more than 8 million of them employed, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA.
OUT MetroWest began running youth programs in 2011 and became an independent non-profit organization in 2014. Today, the organization directly served more than 1,000 youth at its meetings, has conducted dozens of trainings for local schools and organizations, and has welcomed more than 200 guests at its events for LGBTQ+ families.
Out MetroWest said this “is a meaningful step towards equity in our community.”