Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of LGBTQ Rights In Landmark Case
Start writing a post
Community

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of LGBTQ Rights In Landmark Case

Here's what this case will do for LGBTQ rights and why it's a cause for celebration.

6
Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of LGBTQ Rights In Landmark Case

At the start of Pride Month this year, the LGBTQ community awaited a Supreme Court ruling that would decide whether federal law protects people against discrimination on the basis of sex. They announced that their 6-3 ruling does protect LGBTQ individuals in the workplace because "sex" includes gender identity and sexual orientation.

It's a much-needed ray of hope in a dark year, but what does the ruling mean? Here's what this case will do for LGBTQ rights and why it's a cause for celebration.

The Issue With Title VII

The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964 and covered a few key issues of the time. Although the 14th Amendment guaranteed equal protection under the law, racial discrimination still prohibited the growth of social justice and equality. Under President Johnson, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which clarified that no one could discriminate based on race, sex, religion, color or national origin.

It was a monumental legal victory for the civil rights movement of the 1960s, but even that law became murky with time. People began to understand that there is more to gender identity and sexual orientation than straight, cisgender men and women.

When people in the LGBTQ community were fired for living their truth, it was up to the states to decide if it was legally excusable or not. People could count on legal protection in some states, but many still allowed discrimination to happen because they viewed it as a freedom-of-faith issue.

Plaintiff Aimee Stephens' Case

Although court cases over these situations have happened before, none of them made it to the Supreme Court. Under the Obama administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) included gender identity and sexual orientation in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It gave the LGBTQ community further grounds to take employers to court, but it didn't make discrimination illegal nationwide.

In 2013, Aimee Stephens wrote a letter to her boss and coworker. She had come out to her wife in 2009 and felt she was ready to do the same in her workplace. Two weeks after presenting the letter to her employer, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes terminated her full-time employment after 30 years as a funeral director, six of them with that company. Her boss specifically stated in court proceedings that he fired Stephens because she was going to dress like a woman at work.

In 2018, Stephens won her case in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The funeral home, however, appealed to the Supreme Court. This situation was especially concerning, as President Trump had appointed two new justices to sway the Supreme court towards traditional, conservative points of view.

It seemed unlikely that they would rule in Stephens' favor. However, the court announced that firing an individual for being transgender or gay violates the Title VII clause that had upheld workplace discrimination for decades.

What the Future Looks Like

EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) vs. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. is a crucial LGBTQ legal case because it sets a national precedent for workplace protections. People are now free to live their authentic lives, both at home and work, without fear that they will be cast aside by the legal system if their boss attempts to break the law and fire them due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

It furthers LGBTQ rights in a way that future cases can't question or roll back. Even as the LGBTQ community celebrates this next step towards equality and progress, there's much left to do. Discrimination is rampant in public accommodation and housing, as well as other sectors of public life.

One victory doesn't mean every challenge is a thing of the past.

Before the community moves onto the next challenge, there is one major loss to reflect on in this moment. Aimee Stephens, who first brought this issue to court nearly a decade ago, passed away last month of complications related to kidney disease.

She never got to see her final victory unfold, but she will be remembered as a trailblazer for refusing to stay quiet and accept discrimination in the workplace.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1104696

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

700985
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

727530
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

468717
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

287459
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

429445

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

288433

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

194049
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments