Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that a federal law that bars sex discrimination in the workplace also protects LGBTQ+ employees. GSA Network is heartened by this landmark ruling, which will ensure that LGBTQ+ people can continue to make meaningful contributions in the workforce without fear of discrimination or retribution for being their authentic selves.
Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity not only impacts the tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ people who are employed right now. It also has a detrimental impact on an entire generation of trans and queer high school and college students who must see themselves reflected through teachers and school administrators who are out and supported as role models on school campuses.
“As schools adopt LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, trans and queer students are learning about the immense contributions of community activists, athletes, authors, educators, teachers, and politicians who identify as LGBTQ,” said Ginna Brelsford, Co-Executive Director of GSA Network. “It is imperative that trans and queer young people see their identities reflected in a diverse workforce that welcomes them, protects their rights, and acknowledges their immense contributions to society.”
Extensive research has already proven that LGBTQ-inclusive and non-discrimination policies are both good for the economy and supported by most businesses. In fact, more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies already have existing employee protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In spite of the clear benefits of non-discrimination policies, the federal government continues to insist on challenging all guidances and protections for LGBTQ+ people that were commonplace during the Obama-era.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision sends a clear message to all employers across the country that Title VII undoubtedly includes sexual orientation and gender identity in its definition of sex discrimination in the workplace.
“Trans and queer young people have been organizing and actively demanding inclusion in their schools and communities, and they expect full inclusion and participation in the workforce,” said Geoffrey Winder, Co-Executive Director of GSA Network. “This ruling is an affirmation that workplaces must ensure that they create environments where all LGBTQ+ people are fully accepted and protected.”
Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network (GSA Network) is a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains trans, queer, and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities. In California, GSA Network connects over 1,000 GSA clubs through regional summits and youth councils. Nationally, GSA Network leads the National Association of GSA Networks which unites 40 statewide networks of GSA clubs, and GSAs Unite, an online campaign and petition platform supporting youth organizers across the country.