In a landmark ruling issued Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that firing an employee simply because they are gay or transgender goes against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in a momentous victory for gay and transgender rights activists.
Those who have been following the case as it made its way to the nation’s highest court are understandably shocked that the increasingly conservative Court handed down such a decision especially given that two of the nine justices are President Trump’s appointees. However, one of those very appointees, Neil Gorsuch, wrote the majority opinion himself. “An employer who fired an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of different sex,” he wrote.
The Supreme Court’s ruling comes as a major victory to the relatives of Donald Zarda, Aimee Stephens, and to Gerald Bostock. Zarda and Bostock were fired from their respective jobs when their employers were made aware of their sexual orientation, Stephens was fired from her job for “dress code violations” two weeks after she told her company she was transitioning.
Proponents of gay rights have long argued that a manager who wouldn’t fire a man for having sex with a woman should also refuse to fire a man for having sex with another man and any failure to do so would be discrimination based on one’s sex. The Court agreed in that respect. However, Aimee Stephens’ case was different.
In 2013, Stephens informed her employer that she would soon begin to wear women’s business attire at work. Two weeks later, the company told her she was being terminated for dress code violations. Her platform in court was simple: because she was assigned “male” at birth, she was fired for not wanting to wear stereotypical men’s clothing. Likewise, had she been assigned “female” at birth, she would not have been fired for wanting to wear stereotypical women’s clothing.
Now, remember, last week we reported that the Trump administration announced it was preparing to officially recognize “sex” as “male or female as determined by biology” and that the new definition would allow transgender workers to be fired because they are transgender.
Today’s ruling used the administration’s definition to not only protect the very transgender Americans it meant to unprotect less than a week ago, but it also protected millions of gay Americans across the country.
A victory hard won in the courts & on the streets. Grateful to the lawyers, organizers & activists but most grateful to those who had to live stealth or closeted, who lost jobs for living their truth, who left parts of themselves at their employers door. https://t.co/4aaSZBOlbz
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) June 15, 2020
This is an historic day. Congratulations to the LGBTQ+ community on this monumental victory for equality. We must never stop fighting to end all forms of discrimination and build a nation based on justice for all. https://t.co/dnbdig2hUT
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 15, 2020
Good news: Based in part on a Georgia case, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act covers the #LGBTQ community.
Identity matters. Politics matter. Voting matters. A law made real by protest in 1964 protects folks in 2020. https://t.co/9jI9R5I4dX
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) June 15, 2020
Great win for the LGBT community in the Supreme Court. Be aware that Susan Collins fave Brett Kavanaugh voted agains.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) June 15, 2020
Chadwick Boseman Passes Away At 43
Actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his role as King T’Challa in the box office smash “Black Panther” passed away from colon cancer Friday.
The actor was first diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in 2016, but remained active in his career with much of his work being released post-diagnosis. A statement from his family confirmed that he continued to work despite his cancer progressing, befitting a man who brought America’s first Black superhero to the silver screen.
As the news of the actor’s death spread, many took to social media to share their condolences.
The tributes continue to flood in as news of his passing continues to ripple through. Read the official statement from his family below.
“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman.
Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.
A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.
It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.
He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.
The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”
Jeffree Star’s New “Boyfriend”
Steve Bannon Arrested on Border Wall Fundraising Scheme
Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former political adviser, and three other leaders of the“We Build the Wall” online fundraising campaign have been indicted on wire fraud and money laundering charges by federal prosecutors.
Federal agents and officials from the United States Postal Inspection arrested Bannon while he was on a boat located off the eastern coast of Connecticut.
Bannon is expected to make his initial court appearance in New York later today, according to the US attorney’s office. Bannon’s attorney, Bill Burck, declined to comment on the matter.
Audrey Strauss, acting Manhattan U.S attorney, issued the following statement:
“As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction. While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. We thank the USPIS for their partnership in investigating this case, and we remain dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud wherever we find it.”
According to the charges, Kolfage—one of the crowdfunding organizers, spent more than $350,000 of the donations on personal expenses. These expenses include a luxury SUV, a golf cart, cosmetic surgery, home renovations, jewelry, personal tax payments, and credit card debt.
The four individuals being charged—Bannon, Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea—are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, CNN reports.