WASHINGTON D.C. — (10-06-19) (Gay News) (LGBT Politics) — U.S. Supreme Court is ready to be in the headlines again as they take up Gay Civil Rights in new term.

After a relatively quiet 2019, the justices will start their new term on Monday to hear cases on hot-button issues whose decisions will come down in during heat of the 2020 presidential campaign.

U.S. Supreme Court takes up Bostock v Clayton County, GA

Irv Gornstein, Executive Director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown Law School set alarm bells ringing when he said…”We will likely see a court moving further and faster in a rightward direction,” said Gornstein.

The case that the LGBTQ community will be watching closely is the following:

Fired for being gay or transgender

Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda

Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia

R.G.& G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, but does it cover sexual orientation or gender identity?

ABC News reported…Three of the most high-profile cases of the term revolve around the question: Can you be fired from a job for being gay or transgender?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, but there is a raging debate about whether “sex” covers sexual orientation and gender identity as protected traits.

“If the court says it’s perfectly lawful to fire someone for being LGBT, that is going to have trickle-down consequences as to how lower courts interpret similar federal statutes that prohibit sex discrimination in housing, in education and in health care,” said Ria Mar, an attorney with the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project. “The stakes could not be higher.”

Advocates for the employers, backed by the Trump Administration, argue that because Title VII does not explicitly mention sexual orientation or gender identity in the text, neither characteristic is deserving of protection under existing law unless Congress amends it.

“This should be litigated in Congress rather than in front of the Supreme Court,” said Elizabeth Slattery, legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

“It’s about the meaning of ‘sex’ and the meaning of ‘because of’ — ‘because of sex,'” said Sharon McGowan, legal director at Lambda Legal. “We’re hopeful the Supreme Court will look at the words on the statute and realize that ‘because of sex’ means what it says and that LGBT people who experience discrimination because of sex will be protected under the law.”

We will follow these cases closely and bring you updated information as it becomes available.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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