Local LGBT workers head to Supreme Court for discrimination cases

Wednesday, 09 Oct, 2019

Mr Zarda, who died in a skydiving accident in 2014, was dismissed after joking with a female client with whom he was tandem-diving not to worry about the close physical contact because he was "100% gay". After his employer, Altitude Express, learned of this, he was sacked.

After Bostock chose to join a gay recreational softball league, the county fired him for "conduct unbecoming a county employee".

The top court will also examine the MI case of funeral home employee Aimee Stephens, who claims she was sacked because she is transgender.

A seemingly divided U.S. Supreme Court grappled Tuesday over whether a landmark civil rights law protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, among other grounds.

President Donald Trump's administration has argued that Title VII does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity.

Supreme Court justices are mulling what the impact would be if they ruled that federal civil rights law protects LGBT people from job discrimination.

On Tuesday, justice will hear oral arguments in three lawsuits to determine if an employer can fire someone on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Not just about this case, but future cases too.

The Supreme Court opened its new session on Monday.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg countered that Congress also could not have foreseen sexual harassment as a kind of sex discrimination in 1964, either.

Opponents counter that when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, its original intent was to prohibit employers from treating members of one sex worse than similarly situated members of the other sex.

The Garden State is often lauded for having some of the nation's strongest laws protecting LGBTQ residents. Over the years, there have been attempts to amend Title VII to expressly include sexual orientation and gender identity, but none of those efforts have been successful. The legal arguments hinge on whether "sex" may apply to sexual orientation and gender identity.

But lawyers representing the fired workers counter that the Supreme Court over the last half-century has interpreted the law far more broadly than that. "Will they stick to the rules of textualism as previously articulated to them?" This decision will have very real consequences for millions of LGBTQ people across the country. In 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court will start by hearing the cases of Donald Zarda and Gerald Lynn Bostock.

Bostock believes he was sacked for being gay. But is it a violation of Title VII?

Sean Young, legal director with the ACLU of Georgia, said the case is pretty simple. The matter also has political implications - evangelical Christians, many of whom helped Trump get elected, think the laws should not change and are hoping the court will agree.

More than half of US states lack explicit LGBT anti-discrimination protections.

The cases are the court's first on LGBT rights since Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement and replacement by Kavanaugh. "Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions". Abortion and LGBTQ+ rights are at the center of the conservative-heavy, Roberts-led court.

Another justice of interest was Brett Kavanaugh, but the newly confirmed Trump appointee kept his cards exceedingly close to his vest. LGBTQ+ individuals should be protected by the justice system, not threatened.

That people fired for their sexual orientation are being discriminated against because of their sex.

He will tell the justices that adding definitions to the word "sex" would set a unsafe precedent.