LGBTQ Rights
October 22, 2020
Will a Supreme Court decision prevent a rollback?

The Supreme Court ruled in June that the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision is expected to affect policies and behavior far beyond the workplace, including in education, housing and health care. The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed defining sex as either male or female, unchangeable, based on the gender identity a person has at birth, and wants the departments of Education, Justice and Labor to adopt this definition to establish uniformity in government. By changing the definition of sex, the Trump administration would eliminate civil rights protections for the estimated 1.4 million Americans who identify as a gender other than the one they were born with.

Photo of Joseph Fons, a supporter of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision banning job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, in June. Joseph Fons, a supporter of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision banning job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, celebrates the ruling on the steps of the court in June. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

The Supreme Court ruled in June that the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The 6-to-3 decision is expected to reverberate beyond the workplace, affecting education, housing and health care policies covering such things as the use of public restrooms and religious objections to same-sex marriage.

“It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex,” Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote in the majority opinion. 1

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