On April 22, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to hear three cases involving workplace discrimination against those in the LGBTQ community. At issue in these cases is whether or not laws that ban discrimination against a person’s sex also apply to those who are gay or transgender.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees due to a number of factors. These include a persons sex, race, religion or national origin.
According to the interpretation of the law by the Obama Administration, Title VII’s protection of workers against discrimination based on sex also including barring discrimination against someone based on that person’s sexual orientation. Since the Trump Administration has come to power, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is interpreting Title VII to only apply to a person’s sex and not a person’s sexual orientation.
The Supreme Court will hear three cases concerning workplace discrimination of LGBTQ workers. The first case involves an instructor in New York who was fired. The second case involves the firing of a child welfare worker from the state of Georgia. The third case is somewhat different. The third case involves an employee who states that she was fired when she revealed to her employer that she was in the process of transitioning from a male to a female.
These cases will be watched closely by legal experts. Former Justice Anthony Kennedy was considered a more moderate voice on the Supreme Court on the issue of LGBTQ rights. His was the deciding vote which allowed gay marriage to become legal throughout the United States.
Now, Brett Kavanaugh is serving in Anthony Kennedy’s place. Mr. Kavanaugh is considered to be much more conservative than Mr. Kennedy. Legal observers believe that Justice Kavanaugh may join with the other four conservative members of the Supreme Court and rule that Title VII does not apply to those in the LGBTQ community.