What you should know about the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling

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The court ruled in two consolidated cases about gay people who have said they were fired due to their sexual orientation.

The landmark ruling will extend protections to millions of workers nationwide and is a defeat for the Trump administration, which argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that bars discrimination based on sex did not extend to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation.

"Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender", Gorsuch wrote. The answer is clear. No matter how much the dissenters insist that doing so would be "different" from discrimination based on sex, Gorsuch arrives at the same conclusion: "At bottom, the employers' argument unavoidably comes down to a suggestion that sex must be the sole or primary cause of an adverse employment action for Title VII liability to follow".

"No one should be afraid to be who they are in order to work or live their lives, "said Tarah Demant, director of the group's Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Program".

"For the last seven years of Aimee's life, she rose as a leader who fought against discrimination against transgender people, starting when she was sacked for coming out as a woman, despite her recent promotion at the time".

But the majority opinion was written by Neil Gorsuch, one of Trump's appointees to the Supreme Court, and signed on to by Chief Justice John Roberts.

"The statute's message for our cases is equally simple and momentous: An individual's homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions", the court's lengthy opinion continues.

"Today, in a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court confirmed what we already know - that nobody deserves to lose their job because of who they are or how they identify", Whitmer said in a press release.

The ruling, which involved two gay rights cases from Georgia and NY and a transgender rights case from MI, recognises new worker protections in federal law.

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"I am sincerely grateful to the Supreme Court, my attorneys, advocacy organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, and every person who supported me on this journey". "The Supreme Court's clarification that it's unlawful to fire people because they're LGBTQ is the result of decades of advocates fighting for our rights".

The cases hinged on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applied. As Tribe puts it, the decision shows that "applying legal texts in accord with their meaning can sometimes triumph over efforts to read the minds of the authors and that at least some Justices, including Justice Gorsuch, are consistent in their textualism even if others, including it seems Justices [Brett M.] Kavanaugh and [Samuel A.] Alito [Jr.] and [Clarence] Thomas, are not".

Some states have their own laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, which will remain in place.

The legal challenges that came before the high court involved a county employee in Georgia, Gerald Bostock, who was sacked after he began playing in a gay softball league.

The decision also ruled in favor of Aimee Stephens in the case R.G.

The instructor, Donald Zarda, was sacked from his job after the woman complained. "That's because it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex". If the employer fires the male employee for no reason other than the fact he is attracted to men, the employer discriminates against him for traits or actions it tolerates in his female colleague.

"The Court tries to convince readers that it is merely enforcing the terms of the statute, but that is preposterous".

The court's decision had been highly anticipated since the case marked the first time the Court had taken up gay rights since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018.

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