The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a decision that firing someone for their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression is a violation of the sex discrimination prohibition of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The court handed down the 6-3 decision on June 15, consolidating three cases that addressed discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation: G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga. and Altitude Express v. Zarda.

These decisions will have a far-reaching impact and are being closely monitored both by employers and the LGBTQ+ community. Before the court’s decision, 21 states and the District of Columbia prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“[This] decision is a great victory for workplace equality and we applaud the Supreme Court for voting to ban discrimination against LGBTQ+ workers,” CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan said. “CSEA has long stood up for the rights of our LGBTQ+ members to be afforded the same protections and rights as everyone else in the workplace, especially the right to not be fired or discriminated against due to their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”


Chantalise DeMarco, chair of our union’s statewide LGBTQ Committee, noted that the decision is a big step forward for those workers without union contracts.

“So many workers throughout the country are not so fortunate as our CSEA members to have union contracts that protect them from discrimination on the job,” DeMarco said. “This is an important victory for them, but we must remain ever vigilant that the rights of all our LGBTQ+ workers are protected on and off the job.”

— Mark M. Kotzin and Ove Overmyer


About Author

Mark Kotzin has been passionately advocating on behalf of workers for more than 30 years, and is proud to serve as CSEA's statewide Director of Communications and Publisher of the CSEA Work Force.

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