The U.S. Supreme Court handed a major victory to the LGBTQ+ community on Monday, June 15, 2020.
Three cases were heard by the Justices in October 2019 about three separate instances where an employer fired someone for their sexual orientation or identity.
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the LGBTQ+ community is protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch sided with the four liberal Justices in the majority. Gorsuch also wrote the majority opinion.
In part, Gorsuch wrote, “Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result.”
He would continue in saying, “but the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands.”
Gorsuch routinely referred to the language prohibiting “employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”
The term ‘sex’ was a late addition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A segregationist Democrat from Virginia named Howard W. Smith added the phrase numerous times across four pages of Title VII.
The intent was to derail discussions of desegregation and ultimately kill the bill.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ultimately passed with Smith’s language. This led to the 6-3 ruling on Monday.