On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic, landmark ruling that gay, lesbian, and transgender employees are protected from workplace discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace are now illegal in every state and territory.
"In this most terrible of years, and nearly four years into the worst, most homophobic and transphobic administration in our nation's history, we wake up today to momentous news,” said Stonewall President Lester Aponte. “The victory today is the culmination of generations of activism, in the streets, at the voting booth, and in law offices deep into the night constructing the best possible legal arguments. It was a long, hard row, and we nearly despaired many times along the way. But today, we saw a glimpse of the promised land."
One of the plaintiffs in Bostock v. Clayton County was Aimee Stephens, a transgender activist who worked for six years as a male funeral director in Michigan, but was fired shortly after informing her employer that she was trans and would be coming to work as a woman. Ms. Stephens died earlier this year and did not live to see the powerful impact her bravery would have on the world. Stonewall honors her.
The SCOTUS ruling is a major loss for the Trump Administration, which just days ago finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections from LGBTQ+ Americans in health care and health insurance. The administration had publicly sided with the employers who had discriminated against LGBT workers, highlighting the need for LGBTQ+ people to remain vigilant even as we celebrate this historic day. With Election Day less than 150 days away, it is crucial that the LGBTQ+ community carry the enthusiasm of this victory into November. We must remain engaged, focused, and prepared to vote.
Speaking regarding another landmark ruling on LGBTQ rights in 2015, then-President Barack Obama offered these words: “Sometimes there are days like this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.” Those words ring true again today.
About Stonewall Democratic Club
Founded in 1975, Stonewall is the nation’s oldest LGBTQ+, feminist, and progressive political group. It serves as a powerful grassroots non-profit political organization for progressive LGBTQ+ Democrats and straight allies seeking to effect political change.