The US Supreme Court records black and white rights for LGBT workers

The US Supreme Court said on Monday that federal law protecting workers from discrimination based on gender also applies to gays and transgender people.

It is a great victory for LGBT activists in the United States. The US Supreme Court on Monday (June 15) granted an important victory to millions of homosexuals and transgender people by granting them the benefit of anti-discrimination mechanisms at work, despite opposition from Donald Trump’s government.

“Today, we have to decide whether an employer can fire someone just because they are gay or transgender. The answer is clear,” the law “prohibits it,” the court said in a majority judgment. six of nine judges.

Since 1964, a federal law has banned discrimination “on the grounds of gender”, but some courts, like the Republican president’s administration, considered it to apply only to gender inequalities and not to sexual minorities.

Defenders of gay, lesbian and transgender employees, with the support of many elected Democrats and several large corporations including Apple, General Motors and Walt Disney, asked the court to write black and white that they were protected by this device.

In 2015, the United States Supreme Court extended the same-sex marriage, but defenders of sexual minorities feared that the two judges appointed by Donald Trump since his election would have made it more conservative.

Yet it was one of them, Neil Gorsuch, who drafted the majority decision and added his voice to that of the four progressive judges and to Chief Justice John Roberts.

“It’s a huge victory for equality”

The authors of the 1964 law “probably did not foresee that their work would lead to this conclusion,” he wrote. “But the limits of their imagination are not a reason to ignore the legal requirements,” continued this lawyer, very attached to the text.

As for Brett Kavanaugh, also elected by Donald Trump for his conservative views, he opposed this decision, believing it was up to Congress and not the judicial system to change the law.

“Despite my concern about the court’s violation of the separation of powers, it is important to salute this important victory for American gays and lesbians,” he stressed. They “can be proud of this result.”

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“This is a huge victory for equality,” said James Esseks, one of the leaders of the powerful ACLU rights organization.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also praised a “significant step forward”. So far, gays could “marry one day and be laid off the next day,” he said, promising to continue “the fight for equality if elected on November 3.

“It was time for someone to stand up and say that enough is enough”

Specifically, the court ruled in three separate cases.

Two gay workers involved: a paratrooper, Donald Zarda, and a social worker, Gerald Bostock, who had taken legal action after being laid off because of their sexual orientation. To illustrate the legal confusion that prevailed until now, the courts had ruled in the first and wrong in the second.

For the first time in its history, the court had also examined a transgender person, Aimee Stephens.

After working as a man for six years in a funeral home in Detroit (north), she had informed her employer that she intended to adopt her identity as a woman. The latter then thanked her in the name of her Christian values ​​and “in the interests of the grieving families”.

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Aimee Stephens had since embarked on a judicial crusade, ready to embody an invisible minority. “It was time for someone to get up and say it was enough,” she said before the October 8 hearing.

As she suffered from severe renal failure, she died on May 12 at age 59 without knowing the court’s decision. “I am grateful for this victory, which honors Aimee’s fight and ensures equal treatment between people regardless of their sexual orientation or identity,” the widow Donna said in a statement.

With AFP