What a day. The US Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 vote that it is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for employers to discriminate against LGBT employees. I read the majority opinion (& will read the 150 page dissents later this week), have taken it in and want to share two initial thoughts.
First, I’m both thrilled with the decision, and deeply saddened that in the midst of this monumental decision, African Americans, which include those who identify as LGBTQ, continue to be unjustly killed, attacked, bullied, threatened and made to stand-up for their right to watch birds, sell water, gather for a picnic, enjoy time in their homes, and to simply breath. The Black Lives Matter movement seeks to change our nation’s discriminatory and often horrific treatment of African Americans for centuries. Two of the founders of BLM identify as queer, & a founder of the global network is a transgender woman. While we savor this moment, we must also work in solidarity with the BLM movement.
Second, since I have recently written a book about Gerry Crane, the Byron Center high school music teacher who in the mid-1990’s lost his job, and ultimately his life because he was gay, my thoughts have also been about him today. He should be here to relish this victory. Further, the USSC decision involved three different cases, and two of the three plaintiffs died before the court’s decision today. We should remember the lives of Gerry Crane, Aimee Stephens, and Donald Zarda (the two plaintiffs that passed away) and recognize their role, along with many others who have gone before us, in clearing a path to today’s decision.
Bostock v Clayton County, 590 U.S. ___ (2020)
June 15, 2020