The Supreme Court justices sounded closely split Tuesday and a bit uncertain over whether to make it illegal under federal law for companies and public agencies to fire employees solely because they are gay, lesbian or transgender, with Justice Neil M. Gorsuch likely the deciding vote. The four liberal justices, joined at times by Gorsuch, said they agreed that firing gay or transgender employees was discrimination based on sex as the law defined it. But others, including most of the conservatives, said that Congress in did not mean to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
How Gay Marriage Won in the U.S. Supreme Court - The Atlantic
Job discrimination against gay and transgender workers is legal in much of the nation, and the wide-ranging arguments underscored the significance of what could be a momentous ruling. If the court decides that the law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, applies to many millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees across the nation, they would gain basic protections that other groups have long taken for granted. And without Justice Kennedy, who joined four liberals in the 5-to-4 ruling granting same-sex couples the right to marry , the workers who sued their employers in the three cases before the court may face an uphill fight. For the most part, the justices seemed divided along predictable ideological lines on Tuesday. But there was one possible exception: Justice Neil M. Justice Gorsuch is an avowed believer in textualism, meaning that he considers the words Congress enacted rather than evidence drawn from other sources.
Gay Couples Fight for Parenting Rights Despite Marriage Wins
A month ago, the Democratic-controlled U. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would codify anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in areas such as healthcare and housing into federal law. Some supporters of the bill say the disconnect between the public perception and the actual protections afforded to LGBTQ people shows a need to drum up support for the legislation. Supporters of the Equality Act believe federal safeguards are necessary. In 30 U.
Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch called the dispute over transgender rights "close" but more likely an issue for Congress to address. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh directed his only question to a lawyer for two employers that fired gay workers, leaving his position in doubt. If his vote was counted on by those taking the employers' side, he gave no hints.