Politics

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Supreme court to address workplace discrimination of gay and trangender individuals in October

The supreme court will address next month whether gay and trangener people will receive protection from discrimination in the workplace. According to The New York Times, the court will be analyzing on October 8 whether an existing federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, guarantees these rights to the L.G.B.T. community, even in states that currently do not offer these kinds of protections. ~

October’s case will be the first L.G.B.T. rights case since the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy last year, who is known for his significant impact on all four of the federal court’s prominent gay rights decisions. In the first decision, Romer v. Evans in 1966, the Supreme court banned a Colorado constitutional amendment that banned laws protecting the L.G.B.T. community. The legalization of gay sex quickly followed in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, and a ban on same-sex marital benefits from the federal government was overturned in United States v. Windsor in 2013. Finally, in 2015, the supreme court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Constitution guarantees the right of same-sex marriage, with former Justice Kennedy joining the liberals in a 5-4 ruling. It remains unclear whether Brett Kavanaugh, the trump-nominated justice who replaced Kennedy and was deemed the fifth justice in the court to be nominated by a republican president, will vote in favor of such a bill. ~

Many activists are worried about the court’s ability to land five votes in a gay rights case. According to Katherine Franke, a law professor at Columbia, “Now that we don’t have Kennedy on the court, it would be a stretch to find a fifth vote in favor of any of these claims that are coming to the court.” She also added that “The gay rights movement became the marriage rights movement,” she said, “and we lost sight of the larger dynamics and structures of homophobia.” Others, such as William N. Eskridge Jr., a law professor at Yale, believe that the court will have no issues ruling in favor of the L.G.B.T. community, stating that “If the justices take seriously the text of Title VII and their own precedents, L.G.B.T. Americans will enjoy the same job protections as other groups.” ~

This is Fact Based America – WE have the FACTS. YOU have the OPINIONS. What do you think about the case, and what are your thoughts on same sex-marriage and other gay rights?

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