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Court’s LGBTQ discrimination ruling the right decision

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people scored a major victory on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal law barring employment discrimination on the basis of sex also applies to sexuality and gender identity.

Why wouldn’t it?

Of course, some people won’t like it. Some religious organizations and secular employers might not want to hire someone who doesn’t align with their religious beliefs.

Others in the LGBTQ community, though, applaud the decision, saying it affords them much-needed protection.

What’s really surprising is the 6-3 decision, which was written by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, a conservative. Joining the majority was Chief Justice John Roberts, another conservative.

The Supreme Court ruled that a key provision of a 1964 federal law that bars job discrimination because of sex encompasses bias against LGBTQ workers. Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination because of sex.

In a CNN story, Gorsuch said an individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions because it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that person based on sex.

We believe Monday’s Supreme Court ruling is a step in the right direction. But as is the case with many of society’s issues, just because the LGBTQ community can declare a victory doesn’t mean discrimination will end.

Monday’s decision does not directly affect discrimination in public facilities or housing, so more attention needs to be paid to the issue.

For example, The Associated Press reported that the Michigan Civil Rights Commission since 2018 has processed complaints based on sexual orientation and gender identity after releasing a statement that noted such discrimination is a form of sex discrimination.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel told the panel in 2019 that it was not bound by her Republican predecessor’s opinion that Michigan does not ban LGBTQ discrimination and that it would be up to legislators to change the statute to include these protections.

We hope the Supreme Court’s Monday decision will spur a change of thinking in people’s attitudes when it comes to discrimination, regardless of their personal beliefs regarding other lifestyles.

People should be judged on their ability to perform their work, not what they do in the privacy of their homes on their own time.

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