October 2019

SCOTUS Appears Divided Over LGBTQ Civil Rights Case

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in three cases on Tuesday that challenge the wording of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The federal law bans employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex and national origin. At issue is whether or not the word "sex" in the law should also include sexual orientation and those who are transgender. Currently, it is legal for employers to fire members of the LGBTQ community — based merely on their LGBTQ identification — in more than half of all states. It seemed clear that the four liberal justices are in favor of expanding the meaning of the language of Title VII. Justice Sotomayor, via 'USA Today' In their arguments, the conservative justices seemed opposed to expanding the meaning. Justice Alito, via 'USA Today' President Donald Trump's Supreme Court appointee, Justice Gorsuch, seemed to indicate that he believed the matter was one for Congress. Trump's newest appointee, Justice Kavanaugh, was mostly silent during the arguments. The Trump administration is in favor of no expansion of the meaning of Title VII. Nearly 11 million people living in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ. The Court's decision on the three cases will likely be made public in 2020.