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National groups respond to June 15 SCOTUS ruling
2020-06-15

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Many organizations responded to the June 15 U.S. Supreme Court ruling extending workplace protections to LGBTQ people. Here are a few:

—LGBTQI Catholic Group DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke: "Today, justice has taken a bold step forward in what has been a rocky climb. Gay, lesbian and transgender workers are now legally protected from sex discrimination in employment no matter where they live in the U.S. This is a critical recognition of the bias our community has faced for too long and will strengthen our ability to support ourselves and our families.

"This decision is particularly important for transgender people, who have long faced extreme levels of employment discrimination."

—Palm Center Executive Director Aaron Belkin: "The Supreme Court today rejected the Trump administration's plea that American employers be allowed to discriminate against LGBTQ workers. But the landmark ruling does not apply to discrimination against transgender Americans by the military, the nation's largest employer. ... With transgender workers protected by federal law in all other sectors, the military's transgender ban is now even harder to defend."

—Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis: "We've said over and over that LGBTQ working people deserve the dignity and respect of being protected from discrimination at work and now the Supreme Court agrees. In this moment of national uncertainty, we all need some good news and this is a huge win for equality."

—Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David: "This is a landmark victory for LGBTQ equality. No one should be denied a job or fired simply because of who they are or whom they love. For the past two decades, federal courts have determined that discrimination on the basis of LGBTQ status is unlawful discrimination under federal law. Today's historic ruling by the Supreme Court affirms that view, but there is still work left to be done."

—National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter: "This is a huge victory not just for LGBTQ people, but for our country, which benefits enormously when LGBTQ people are permitted to participate and contribute on equal terms. Today's decision will be remembered as a watershed in the history of LGBTQ rights, even as our country continues to grapple with the brutal legacy of racism. The transgender movement owes a particular debt of gratitude to Aimee Stephens, who courageously fought this battle in the months of her life."

—OutRight Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern: "The Supreme Court stating explicitly that under the Civil Rights Act discrimination based on sex includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a tremendous victory. The decision comes at a time when the Trump administration has been viciously attacking the rights of LGBTIQ people, in particular trans people. t will protect millions of Americans from discrimination in the workplace, and sends a powerful message—that political power-play can not erase basic human rights."

—National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance Executive Director Glenn D. Magpantay: "Today's decision is welcome reprieve from the onslaught of crisis over the past year—aggressive ICE enforcement and mass deportations of immigrants, police brutality and the killing of African Americans, and Trump's elimination of health care protections under the Affordable Care Act. We celebrate and yet we must continue to fight!"

—American Federation of Government Employees National Vice President for Women and Fair Practices Jeremy Lannan: "This 6-3 opinion is a huge win for the LGBTQ+ community and ensures that workers never again have to worry about losing their jobs just because of their gender or who they love."

—PFLAG National Executive Director Brian K. Bond: "This is a momentous step, but there remains much more work to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. During this time of pandemic, historic unemployment, healthcare limitations, and civil unrest to end systemic racism and white supremacy, PFLAG members are keenly aware that federal law does not fully protect our LGBTQ+ loved ones, especially transgender people of color, especially Black trans people. When the U.S. rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of these protections for LGBTQ+ people will become abundantly clear."

—LGBTQ Victory Institute President & CEO Mayor Annise Parker: "Millions of LGBTQ people across the country have feared losing their jobs and their livelihoods because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and today's landmark ruling is a powerful step forward toward ending that reality.

"But the ruling is specifically tied to employment and it remains legal for LGBTQ people to be discriminated against in restaurants, hospitals and other public accommodations. It is time for the U.S. Congress to pass the Equality Act and finally end legalized discrimination against LGBTQ people in America, and for states to pass non-discrimination laws that provide accessible avenues for legal recourse."

—The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights President/CEO Vanita Gupta: "At a time when our fundamental values as a country are under attack, this decision affirms the basic belief that civil rights belong to us all. We commend the Supreme Court's decision to affirm that LGBTQ people are, and should be, protected from workplace discrimination under federal law. The Leadership Conference coordinated the legislative campaign to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and we are proud to see that historic law applied correctly.

"We know, however, that our fight to protect LGBTQ people must go on. There are still numerous gaps in our nation's anti-discrimination laws, and Congress must act now to pass full federal anti-discrimination protection laws, like the Equality Act, for all people."

—Family Equality CEO The Rev. Stan J. Sloan: "This critical decision makes clear that LGBTQ+ people are, and should be, protected from discrimination under federal law, and it's encouraging to see a 6—3 decision emerge in support of such protections from the Supreme Court today.

"However, we still have a long way to go. Just days ago, the Trump Administration issued a final rule removing nondiscrimination protections in health care, a move that will only worsen health inequities for LGBTQ+ people, with Black and transgender people suffering the most."

—American Psychological Association, President Sandra L. Shullman, PhD: "This is a victory for all Americans who value equality and fairness. Psychological research has found that LGBT individuals are often stigmatized for not conforming to sex-role stereotypes. Sexual and gender minority individuals already experience higher rates of physical and mental health problems than do heterosexuals. When laws are enacted to prohibit discrimination against gay and transgender individuals, research has shown that health outcomes, both mental and physical, improve. Workplaces that have adopted LGBT-supportive policies have also benefited from improved health among those employees, as well as greater job commitment, job satisfaction and productivity."

—Modern Military Association of America, Legal and Policy Director Peter Perkowski: "While it's unclear whether Title VII civil rights protections apply to military service, we are hopeful that the high court's decision is an indication that justice will prevail in our lawsuit challenging the transgender military ban. Make no mistake: the Supreme Court has ruled that discrimination against LGBTQ people is discrimination based on sex. That truth applies regardless of context. At the end of the day, what matters for military service is whether or not you are capable and qualified, not your gender identity."

—The Williams Institute: Christy Mallory, the State & Local Policy Director: "The Supreme Court's transformative decision provides much needed protection for LGBT people from employment discrimination.

"The decision also signals that other federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination based on sex likely also protect LGBT people."

The ruling is particularly important for LGBT employees in states that lack state laws that expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. An estimated 3.4 million LGB workers and 536,000 transgender workers live in the 27 states that do not have statutes that expressly prohibit employment discrimination based on these characteristics, according to the Williams Institute.


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