How Different Were Their Reactions To SCOTUS Landmark Ruling?

L-R Former President Barack Obama, Donald Trump

When asked about the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that found LGBTQ people are protected by federal employment discrimination laws, Donald Trump told reporters, “I’ve read the decision, and some people were surprised. But they’ve ruled and we live with their decision. That’s what it’s all about. We live with the decision of the Supreme Court. Very powerful. Very powerful decision actually. But they have so ruled.”


That’s some enthusiasm, huh?

You’ll recall during the 2016 presidential campaign, the Donald declared he would be a better friend to the LGBT community than Hillary Clinton. And, as we now know, that’s not turned out to be the case.

Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was much more uplifting in his remarks, writing in part:

Today’s Supreme Court decision is a momentous step forward for our country. Before today, in more than half of states, LGBTQ+ people could get married one day and be fired from their job the next day under state law, simply because of who they are or who they love. This landmark 6–3 ruling affirms that LGBTQ+ Americans are entitled to equal rights under the law.

This decision is another step in our march towards equality for all. And while we celebrate this victory today, we know that our work is not yet done. As President, I look forward to signing into law the Equality Act, protecting the civil rights of LGBTQ+ Americans, and championing equal rights for all Americans. Happy Pride!


And, former President Barack Obama tweeted his response: “Today reminds us that progress might be slow. It might take decades. But no matter what things might look like today, it’s always possible. Happy Pride month, everybody.”


Judge Rules Catholic School Broke Anti-Discrimination Laws By Rescinding Offer To Gay Man

The haters are so going to scream “religious liberties!”

Fontbonne Academy offered Matthew Barrett a job as a food services director. He accepted.

But when he listed his legal husband as his emergency contact on human resources forms, his offer was rescinded.

Message? We don’t hire gays. The only problem is they broke state laws discriminating against Barrett.

ABC News takes it from here:

Barrett sued, alleging that the Milton school discriminated against him based on sexual orientation and gender. Norfolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins agreed, rejecting Fontbonne’s claim that hiring Barrett would infringe on its constitutional rights because it views his marriage to a man as incompatible with its religious mission.

The judge said Barrett’s duties as a food services director did not include presenting the teachings of the Catholic church. The judge also found that a religious exemption to the state anti-discrimination law applies only if a religious organization limits admission to people of a certain religion. Fontbonne is open to students and employees of all faiths, with the exception of its administration and theology faculty.

Alabama: Employer Asks Transgender Employee “What Are You?” Then Fires Her

Imagine after a challenging period of time trying to find employment, you think you’ve found a dream job.

Not only a good job, but the company that’s hired you offers to pay to train you.

This was the case of Jessi Dye, a transgender woman living in Vinetown, Alabama.

On her first day at work at Summerford Nursing Home she arrived on time, filled out paperwork, received vaccinations (she would be training to become a certified nurse’s assistant). But come lunch time, Dye was summoned to the office of Robert Summerford, the manager for the facility.

“What are you?” he asked.

At that moment, Dye says she felt “exactly like being punched in the stomach.”

Dye explained that she was born male and transitioning to female.

From there, the situation got even worse with Summerford asking, “What am I supposed to do with you?”

And with that, Dye was fired on the spot.

Via the Huffington Post:

In March, Dye, with the support of lawyers from the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

On Thursday, the Southern Poverty Law Center announced that Summerford had reached a settlement with Dye. Rather than face a possible fight over Dye’s accusation in federal court, the company agreed to implement a policy that prohibits discrimination against job applicants and employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and to conduct sensitivity training concerning LGBT people. (The amount of money paid to Dye in the settlement has not been disclosed.)

Sam Wolfe, a lawyer with SPLC, sees Summerford’s quick capitulation and favorable settlement offer as a positive sign that the climate toward LGBT people in the workplace is shifting around the country, even in states like Alabama, which have no statewide laws prohibiting LGBT discrimination.

“I think the takeaway here is that we have a small company that is represented by competent lawyers and they saw the writing on the wall,” Wolfe told The Huffington Post. “It’s an admission that employers do need to pay attention to their obligations under federal law to not discriminate because of someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation.”

This episode is not unique, and underscores why transgender folks (and gays and lesbians) need the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed in Congress to protect against these kinds of cases.

For her part, Dye is glad the lawsuit at least brought attention to the very real issue of transgender protections. “I don’t want anybody else to have to go through what I went through that day,” she said.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Civil Rights Act Of 1964 Covers Sexual Orientation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued a ruling that acknowledges existing civil rights law –  in the form of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – outlaws discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation.

Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed has the details:

“[A]llegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily state a claim of discrimination on the basis of sex,” the commission concluded in a decision dated July 15.

The independent commission addressed the question of whether the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars anti-LGB discrimination in a complaint brought by a Florida-based air traffic control specialist against Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx.

The ruling — issued without objection from any members of the five-person commission — applies to federal employees’ claims directly, but it also applies to the entire EEOC, which includes its offices across the nation that take and investigate claims of discrimination in private employment. And, while only the Supreme Court could issue a definitive ruling on the interpretation, EEOC decisions are given significant deference by federal courts.

This isn’t the Employment Non-Discrimination Act we all would like to see become law, it is a clear decision in the right direction. This decision could very well lead to nationwide protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers in the U.S.