(Christian Headlines) In a landmark decision for the LGBT community, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled employers cannot fire someone merely for being gay or transgender under federal law.
At issue was Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it unlawful “for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual … because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
Three LGBT individuals in Michigan, Georgia and New York filed separate suits in federal court, arguing they were fired from their jobs for being gay or transgender and asserting that “sex” in the Civil Rights Act encompasses sexual orientation and gender identity. The Supreme Court consolidated the cases into one.
The court, in a 6-3 decision, sided with the fired employees. Two conservative justices – Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch – joined the court’s liberal bloc in the majority.
It’s the biggest legal victory for the LGBT community since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015.
Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion.
“An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law,” Gorsuch wrote.
He acknowledged the authors of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may not have had LGBT individuals in mind when passing it.
“Likely, they weren’t thinking about many of the Act’s consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees,” Gorsuch wrote. “But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands. When the express terms of a statute give us one answer and extratextual considerations suggest another, it’s no contest. Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit.”
Justice Samuel Alito wrote a dissenting opinion signed by Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote his own dissenting opinion.
Alito criticized the majority.
“There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation. The document that the Court releases is in the form of a judicial opinion interpreting a statute, but that is deceptive,” Alito wrote. “… A more brazen abuse of our authority to interpret statutes is hard to recall.
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Editors note. This article as written by Michael Foust and posted at Christian Headlines. Title Changed by PNP News
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