The Supreme Court in US has ruled that federal civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers.
This means, that employers who fire workers for being gay or transgender are breaking the country’s civil rights laws.
The ruling is a major win for LGBT workers and their allies.
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court said federal law, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, should be understood to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
“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,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote.
“There is simply no escaping the role intent plays here: Just as sex is necessarily a but-for cause when an employer discriminates against homosexual or transgender employees, an employer who discriminates on these grounds inescapably intends to rely on sex in its decisionmaking,” the opinion read, CNN reports.
It’s difficult to overstate the significance of the decision. While the court is establishing a long history of decisions expanding gay rights, this is the first time it spoke directly about the legal protections for transgender individuals.