Supreme Court divided over civil rights

Why the Civil Rights Act’s protection of LGBT shouldn’t be up for debate


Chris Lisle, Contributor

At the beginning of October, the Supreme Court heard a case that should be nothing less than a unanimous decision. The case dealt with the Civil Rights Act and its ability to prevent the termination of LGBTQ+ employees.
There is no reason for the Supreme Court to rule that such discrimination is legal. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination based on sex, which includes gender identity and sexual orientation.
Beyond the legalities of it, I believe it is important just to look at this from a different perspective. If someone was being fired for being straight, everyone would be up in arms about how someone was being discriminated based on their sexual orientation. If a straight person being fired on that basis would cause people to be up in arms, why can’t members of the LGBTQ+ community be treated that same way?
Our founding documents state that all men are created equal. For that to be the case and to be fully lived up to in this country, the Supreme Court has to rule that workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal and unconstitutional. In this country we strive to be a nation where everyone has the same opportunities in life and the same access to work and services as the next person, yet we are at a place in this country’s history where we are relying on the United States Supreme Court to ensure that happens. Conservatives scream about small government and how the federal government needs to stay out of people’s lives, and yet, they are the ones challenging peoples’ rights in court and trying to get the government to legalize discrimination.
The solution to all of this: The Supreme Court needs to rule that workplace discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community is illegal and unconstitutional, and the United States Senate must pass the Equality Act. The Equality Act was passed by the Democratic-led House and would explicitly state that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected characteristics and update public spaces and services that are provided and protected for LGBTQ+ members. Passage of this bill in the Democratic House and refusal to even consider it by the Republican-led Senate says a lot about the differences in priorities between left and right. The right thing to do is for the Court to do is to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from workplace discrimination (that is illegal already under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act) and for the Senate to sign the Equality Act and the president to sign it into law.
This is the United States of America. We pride ourselves here at home and around the world for our freedoms and we stress the importance of human rights. We express our condemnations for discrimination against minorities around the world. We cannot have it both ways. We cannot condemn discrimination around the world and then discriminate against our own people here at home.

It is 2019. It is beyond time for this country to finally come to terms and honor our own values and our own morals and protect LGBTQ+ individuals from workplace discrimination, and all kinds of discrimination in every faction of life. Republicans cannot brag about being in favor of the working person and the average, everyday American if they aren’t willing to protect everyone and ensure people can’t be fired for who they love. If the U.S. Supreme Court won’t hand down the right decision, then people all over the country must mobilize to elect politicians that will do the right things and protect myself and my fellow LGBTQ+ individuals from workplace discrimination and all kinds of discrimination.