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The Supreme Court’s case on LGBT discrimination shouldn’t be a close call

Author: Washington Post (USA), Published on: 7 October 2019

Having begun its term Monday, the Supreme Court jumps into one of its highest-profile cases Tuesday…

The justices will hear oral arguments in three cases testing whether federal law bars employers from discriminating against LGBT people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Gerald Bostock…and Donald Zarda...were both fired based on their sexual orientation. Another plaintiff, former funeral director Aimee Stephens, was fired when she revealed to her boss that she would begin dressing as a woman. Her employer explained that her plans were against “God’s commands.”

These plaintiffs argue that their firings were illegal under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act…Firing someone because he is gay or she is transgender, they argue, is a form of sex discrimination. “Because an employee’s sex is a necessary element of his sexual orientation, a decision because of the latter is also a decision because of the former,” Mr. Bostock’s lawyers argue. 

The defendants and their supporters — including the Trump administration — retort that Congress did not have gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people in mind when it passed the Civil Rights Act a half-century ago.

True. But the court already has found that Title VII bars firing a woman not only because an employer does not believe women should be working, but also “reasonably comparable evils,” as Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in 1998. So, according to the court, employers cannot discriminate against women because they fail to fulfill gender stereotypes…

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