Another Victory in the L.G.B.T.Q.-Rights Movement
The “single biggest victory in the history of the L.G.B.T.Q.-rights movement” is what one combatant called the Supreme Court’s decisions by 6 to 3 majorities in three cases decided on Monday, June 15, 2020. The decision, the first written by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch since he joined the Court, found it an easy job to interpret the meaning of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition on job discrimination based on sex. The first two paragraphs of the opinion eloquently make his point:
This decision, with its clarity and sweeping language may have impact on many other government policies, among other things, President Trump’s campaign to eliminate transgender rights in health care, the military, housing, and education. Scholars think that these policies cannot be maintained after these decisions.
Conservative Christian groups are concerned that this ruling would affect their current practice, based on their interpretation of the basic tenets of Christianity, of not hiring or, upon discovery, terminating L.G.B.T. workers. On the other hand, Americans United for Separation of Church and State said that they and their allies “must come together to make clear the religious freedom is a shield that protects, not a sword that licenses discrimination.”
The dissents were vigorous. This is from Associate Justice Samuel Alito:
Later in the opinion he says that the “arrogance of this argument is simply breathtaking.” In an appendix to his opinion, he listed over 100 federal statutes that prohibit discrimination because of sex. There may be fighting in the courts about it, but this decision is likely to have far reaching consequences for L.G.B.T.Q. people.