In a ruling written by Trump appointee Gorsuch and supported by Chief Justice Roberts, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Civil Rights Act prohibition on the basis of sex discrimination applies the discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation. The vote was 6-to-3, with conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch joining the court’s four liberal justices in the majority.
The court’s opinion notes that the sex discrimination language was inserted into the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a “poison pill” — the intent was to defeat the Act. Racism.
The Supreme Court tells the story of Rep. Howard Smith of Virginia, a southern Democrat who tried to kill the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by adding the word "sex" to the bill, which he assumed would kill the legislation because Congress wouldn't protect women from discrimination. pic.twitter.com/46o1RlPhqk
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 15, 2020
The ruling came three days after the Trump administration rule that allows health care providers to discriminate against LGBTQ patients.
A Trump administration rule will allow health care providers to deny care to anyone they perceive as trans or gay.
The rule was released on the 4th anniversary of the Pulse shooting, which left 49 mostly queer and trans people dead in a Florida nightclub. https://t.co/HJu7afQwe1
— Vox (@voxdotcom) June 12, 2020
“The ordinary meaning of ‘sex’ is biologically make or female; it does not include sexual orientation,” the Justice Department said. “An employer who discriminates against employees in same-sex relationships thus does not violate Title VII as long as it treats men in same-sex relationships the same as women in same-sex relationships.”
“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,” Gorsuch wrote for the court. “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
“Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result,” he wrote, adding, “But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands.”
“Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit,” he wrote.
Aimee Stephens (pictured) was one of the plaintiffs. She died earlier this year.