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The U.S. Supreme Court Holds: Title VII Prohibits Employment Discrimination On The Basis Of Sexual Orientation Or Transgender Status

On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in a 6-3 opinion, that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Bostock v. Clayton County, No. 17-1618. The Court decided that the well-established Title VII protections against discrimination on the basis of sex includes protections for sexual orientation and transgender status. “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. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.” Supra, p. 2. Justice Neal Gorsuch, writing for the majority in the case, stated: “At bottom, these cases involve no more than the straightforward application of legal terms with plain and settled meanings.” Supra, p. 12.

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