This morning, the United States Supreme Court delivered a historic ruling that upholds workplace protections for LGBTQ+ people. This decision affirms that firing someone for the sexual orientation or gender identity is against the law.
This important ruling comes during widespread protests against police brutality and anti-Black racism, reminding us that the rights of LGBTQ+ people won’t be fully realized until we end systemic anti-Black racism and dismantle white supremacy.
The protections that were upheld today are based on the 1964 Civil Rights Act—legislation that was fought for and won by the hundreds of thousands of Black Americans protesting racism across the United States. This history clearly demonstrates how intertwined all of our rights are. In order to advance LGBTQ+ rights, we must also work to dismantle the systems that continue to marginalize Black, Indigenous and people of color.
Despite this ruling upholding protections against workplace discrimination, it’s still legal to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in federally funded hospitals, colleges, and adoption agencies. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s scary to know that LGBTQ+ people can still be denied the medical care they need.
Discrimination also remains legal in public places like hotels and restaurants, and Black LGBTQ+ people still face disproportionate discrimination throughout their lives.
Until our laws remedy systemic racism and ensure protections against discrimination for all people, our pursuit of legal equality will remain far from finished. Until our culture catches up with those laws, our fight for true equality will not be over.