The decision this past Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court extending the rights of gay and transgender workers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin, and sex, is a wonderful affirmation of the shift in this country from one of outright homophobia just a generation ago to the acceptance by a large majority of Americans of persons regardless of their sexual preferences or gender identity.
This newspaper for more than 25 years has supported the efforts of the LGBTQ community to secure all of the rights that are enjoyed by every American and to be free from discrimination of all kinds.
We applauded the Goodridge decision in 2003 by our Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that held that the Commonwealth must legally recognize same-sex marriage, something we had advocated for almost a decade previously.
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court in the Obergefell case affirmed same-sex marriage as a Constitutional right, thus making it applicable to all 50 states.
This week’s decision by our country’s highest court now extends Title VII protections for gay and transgender persons to all 50 states. Previously, about half of the states still allowed a person to be fired by their employer solely on the basis of their sexual status.
There still is more to be done in terms of bringing full legal and social equality for our LGBTQ fellow citizens, but Monday’s 6-3 decision, which included two of the conservative justices, Roberts and Gorsuch, unquestionably represents a huge step forward for gay and transgender Americans.