On Monday, 15 June 2020, the Supreme Court of the US ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination, applies to cases of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

In a landmark ruling, decided by a 6-3 vote, the  Supreme Court ruled overwhelmingly that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a form of sex discrimination and therefore prohibited by the Civil Rights Act. This is a critical case for the USA, where more than half the states do not have explicit protection against discrimination for LGBTIQ people. The ruling comes at a time when the Trump administration has rolled back numerous advances in the protection of particularly trans people, including the Department of Health removing protection from discrimination for trans people in healthcare on Friday, 12 June 2020. The Justice Department argued that Title VII doesn’t cover discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Executive Director of OutRight Action International, Jessica Stern, said, “The Supreme Court stating explicitly that under the Civil Rights Act discrimination based on sex includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a tremendous victory. The decision comes at a time when the Trump administration has been viciously attacking the rights of LGBTIQ people, in particular trans people. It will protect millions of Americans from discrimination in the workplace, and sends a powerful message – that political power-play can not erase basic human rights. This judgment will have implications for LGBTIQ people everywhere – governments and movements are inspired by each other, and landmark judgments are quoted by courts across the world. OutRight welcomes, and celebrates this ruling!”


OutRight Action International works at a global, regional and national level to eradicate the persecution, inequality and violence lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people face around the world. From its offices in 7 countries and headquarters in New York, OutRight builds capacity of LGBTIQ movements, documents human rights violations, advocates for inclusion and equality, and holds leaders accountable for protecting the rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere. OutRight has recognized consultative status at the United Nations.


Image Sources

  • U.S. Supreme Court Building: Pixaby