Jump to navigation Skip navigation. The struggle of LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for equal rights has moved to center stage. LGBT people are battling for their civil rights in Congress, in courtrooms and in the streets. Well-known figures are discussing their sexual orientation in public. Gay and lesbian people are featured in movies and on television - not as novelty characters, but as full participants in society. Despite these advances into the American mainstream, however, LGBT people continue to face real discrimination in all areas of life.
America Moved On From Its Gay-Rights Moment—And Left a Legal Mess Behind
Supreme Court rules that civil rights law protects LGBT workers
In an emphatic win for civil rights, equal justice and common sense, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that federal law bars employers from firing workers for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. In separate cases consolidated for argument , three plaintiffs — two gay men and a transgender woman — had sued their employers for firing them after learning of their sexual orientation or transgender status. It does not matter, the court said, whether the employer might have had additional reasons for the firing. But we digress. They also could not have imagined that it would cover sexual harassment of male employees — and yet in the Supreme Court found unanimously that it did. Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit. The term was added at the last minute by Representative Howard Smith, a staunch segregationist from Virginia, in the hope that lawmakers would see it as a bridge too far and vote down the entire bill.
The legislation , passed to almost entirely along party lines, stands little chance of drawing enough Republican support in the Senate to advance, at least in its current form. It was the second time the Democratic-led House had passed the measure, known as the Equality Act, which seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of to add explicit bans on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in both public and private spaces. The passage of the legislation came as a broader fight over transgender rights played out on Capitol Hill, with Republicans attacking transgender people and Democrats insisting they warranted the same civil rights protections afforded to anyone else.
That opinion and two dissents, spanning pages, touched on a host of flashpoints in the culture wars involving the LGBTQ community — bathrooms, locker rooms, sports, pronouns, and religious objections to same-sex marriage. The decision, the first major case on transgender rights, came amid widespread demonstrations, some protesting violence aimed at transgender people of color. The vastly consequential decision thus extended workplace protections to millions of people across the nation, continuing a series of Supreme Court victories for gay rights even after President Trump transformed the court with his two appointments. The decision achieved a decades-long goal of gay rights proponents, one they had initially considered much easier to achieve than a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.