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Supreme Court is divided over lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer jobs bias in civil rights case to be decided during 2020 election
The Supreme Court appeared deeply divided Tuesday on a major civil rights question: whether gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer people are covered by a federal law barring employment discrimination on the basis of sex.
The court’s rulings in three cases, which are not expected until next year, seemed to hinge on President Donald Trump’s two nominees. 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.
The court’s four liberal justices forcefully denounced the firings of two gay men and a transgender woman from Georgia, New York and Michigan and made clear they believe all three should be protected by the statutory ban on sex discrimination.
“We can’t deny that homosexuals are being fired merely for being who they are and not because of religious reasons, not because they are performing their jobs poorly,” Associate Justice Sonia Soto mayor said, calling it “invidious behavior.”
LGBTQ rights have come a long way in the U.S. But the community still faces threats in the form of legalization, discrimination and even violence.
Many religious organizations root for the employers. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said opening employment protection to gay men and lesbians could adversely affect faith-based schools, health care providers and homeless shelters that seek to abide by their own “religious and moral convictions.”