Happy Pride

Happy Pride Month, everyone!! Sorry, I’m a little late.

Pride Month is celebrated every June, commemorating the Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan 51 years ago. That makes this the 50th year Pride Month is being celebrated and, fortunately, we really have something to celebrate.

Last month, in a decision that surprised many Supreme Court watchers, the Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. The decision is all the more wonderful because it was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch. Justice Gorsuch was Trump’s first Supreme Court Appointee and the Trump administration sided with the employers in all the cases that were before the Supreme Court, arguing that the Civil Rights Act’s ban on discrimination based on sex did not ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identification.

The decision was also joined by John Roberts, who has recently seemed to position himself as the new Anthony Kennedy, willing to side with the court’s more liberal bloc in important cases. In addition to this case, Roberts this term has also cast the pivotal fifth vote rejecting the Trump administration’s bid to end DACA as well as the fifth vote to strike down restrictive Louisiana abortion regulations.

The decision in Harris Funeral Homes and 2 related cases that the court consolidated to consider the issue prohibits employers from disciplining, firing, or not hiring gay, lesbian and transgender people based on that status. Each of the three plaintiffs had been fired by their employers when their employers learned that they were either homosexual or transgender.

The breakneck pace at which LGBTQ rights have advanced in in the courts and in society at large (prior to the decision polls showed 71% of Americans supported a bill that would protect LGBTQ rights in the workplace) over the last few years is a real sign of hope particularly as the nation’s struggle for racial equality is recharged. If you needed a reminder: political involvement, activism and VOTING have real world, concrete impact.