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Major Supreme Court Victory For LGBTQ Employees

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Transgender activist Aimee Stephens, pictured at the Supreme Court last October, was fired from her job. Her case was at the center of the court's decision. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation.

The vote was 6-to-3, with conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch joining the court's four liberal justices in the majority.

The opinion is available here.

"In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee's sex when deciding to fire that employee," the court held in Monday's decision. "We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law."

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The lawmakers who drafted and enacted the legislation didn't necessarily need to envision how it might be applied in cases like the ones the court has since considered, Gorsuch wrote for the majority:

"Likely, they weren't thinking about many of the act's consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees. But the limits of the drafters' imagination supply no reason to ignore the law's demands."

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