Yesterday, in a landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.
The 6-3 opinion was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the Court's four liberal-leaning justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh dissented, with Justice Clarence Thomas joining Justice Alito.
The decision ends the decades' old question regarding whether Title VII protects LGBTQ workers from sex-based discrimination. In the opinion, Justice Gorsuch writes that based on the plain meaning of Title VII, firing an individual on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is discrimination on the basis of sex. This ruling provides some much-needed clarity for lower courts and state officials, who are currently working with a hodgepodge of different (and sometimes conflicting) nondiscrimination policies.
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