Politically Speaking

Chase Wing, Staff

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The Supreme Court will be meeting to consider federal employment protections for LGBT employees on Oct. 8. The argument correctly claims that Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts provides federal protections of LGBT individuals in the workplace.

LGBT workplace rights have become a recent focus of American politics. The opposition views the argument as an infringement on their rights as they view it as essentially forcing them to allow LGBT+ citizens to work for them, which is a correct assertion.

The cases of Donald Zarda and Gerald Bostock are the first of a trio of cases to determine to determine the legitimacy of federal workplace protections for LGBT members. Zarda, a skydiver instructor, died in 2014 and will be represented by the executors of his estate. Bostock was a child-welfare-services coordinator for Clayton County, Georgia for over a decade. Both men are arguing they were fired –allegedly– for being gay.

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts is a federal law that states that employers are not allowed to discriminate against their employees based on race, sex, religion, or national origin. Lastly updated in the sixties, the Acts have yet to be updated to include discrimination against various sexual orientations and gender identities.

When the Civil Rights Acts were initially being debating during the sixties, the southern segregationists argued that creating federal law requiring employers to not discriminate against workers based on sex and race/ethnicity infringes on the employer’s individual liberties and states’ rights and therefore was unconstitutional. This is the same argument being used against the LGBT community today. However, there is nothing in the constitution that supports this argument and protects individual state rights. If the federal court sees it fit to add an amendment or update the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, they are within their provisions to do so.

Should the Supreme Court rule that adding a new provision to Civil Rights Act to include gay and trans rights is unconstitutional, it would be a huge step back for the LGBT community. Gay people who make you feel “uncomfortable” and religious bigotry are not justifiable excuses for discrimination in the workplace and such should be able to be legally held accountable in a court of law. Therefore, it is necessary for the Supreme Court to make the correct and moral decision and help eliminate some of the prejudice many people in the country still face today.

 

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