LGBT Rights Recognition Over Workplace Discrimination Divides US Supreme Court | Politics

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LGBT Rights Recognition Over Workplace Discrimination Divides US Supreme Court | Politics


These days, the most conservative US Supreme Court is examining three cases involving LGBT discrimination in the workplace. The first two cases involve two gay employees, fired for having publicly revealed their sexual orientation at workplace. The third case concerns a transgender employee, fired for insisting to work in women’s clothes.


The protection against discrimination in the workplace is guaranteed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As the article reports formally, “It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer […] to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.


The article does not refer in an explicit way to sexual orientation: it is precisely here that the debate in the US Supreme Court has stalled. In particular,  conservative groups have argued that sexual orientation and gender identity may not be equated with the forms of discrimination reported.


As Walker Wildmon, vice president for The American Family Association, has stated:”Congress never intended sexual orientation or the personal feelings of transgender individuals to be included in the concept of sex discrimination“. On the other hand, great hopes are placed on Judge Neil Gorsuch who pointed out that “sex” as understood in Title VII is the “contributing cause” to the dismissal of transgender case.


But this is not enough, there are five votes left to officially extend protection from discrimination in the workplace to LGBT people.



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