The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prevents the LGBTQ community from being discriminated against in the workplace. 

The justices ruled 6-3 for the plaintiffs in Bostock v. Clayton County. Plaintiff Gerald Lynn Bostock, along with the estates of Aimee Stephens and Donald Zarda, had alleged firings for being gay or transgender. 

The ’60s-era law prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. “Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch for the majority. “The answer is clear.” 

“Sometimes small gestures can have unexpected consequences. Major initiatives practically guarantee them,” Justice Gorsuch continued. “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex.”

Bostock worked as a child welfare advocate and alleged that he was fired shortly after joining a gay softball league. The county of Clayton, Georgia fired him for “conduct unbecoming of a county employee.”

Stephens was allegedly fired from R. G. & G. R. Harris Funeral Homes in Garden City, Michigan after informing the funeral home that she would be transitioning from a man to a woman, and living her life as a woman. 

In the case of the now deceased Zarda, the plaintiff alleged being fired by Altitude Express, a New York skydiving business, shortly after mentioning that he was gay to a client. 

The Supreme Court found all three of their cases were covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, rendering their firings illegal. 

The Supreme Court did not end its Monday with that ruling alone, as it also rejected 7-2 the Trump administration’s challenge of a California law that limits state law enforcement assistance with federal immigration enforcement. 

The argument was submitted on March 13, 2019; it would have been heard in late 2020 had the Supreme Court not rejected it. 

The California Values Act was signed into law in 2017, and the “sanctuary” law went into effect January 2018.

The law prevented police and sheriffs from asking about immigration status, sharing information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or allowing immigration agents to interview a person without their written consent. 

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