Happy News Today on LGBTQ+ rights from the US Supreme Court
We planned to speak out today against the deadly Executive Order eliminating anti-discrimination protections in healthcare for transgender individuals across all sectors that was insensitively announced by our transphobic President, Donald J. Trump, on the fourth Anniversary of the Orlando Pulse Massacre and during LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Instead we highlight some happy news that we believe will make a huge difference in the fight to counter his latest effort at harming the Transgender community.
Today, in 6-3 decision, the US Supreme Court agreed that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, should include sexual orientation and gender identity for the purposes of understanding and defining the term “sex.” The unambiguously LGBTQ-affirming opinion was drafted by none other than Justice Neil Gorsuch, the controversial first pick to the US Supreme Court by President Trump after President Obama’s choice for the seat was stonewalled by Republicans for nearly 11 months before the end of his second term. This is a big win for the LGBTQ+ community and we hope it will have a far reaching effect on many of the efforts of the Trump administration to diminish our rights in healthcare and employment.
However, our federal non-discrimination laws still contain critical gaps that can affect the LGBTQ+ community – especially our LGBTQ+ older adults. It is still legal for federally funded entities such as hospitals to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. Restaurants, small businesses and hotels are also legally allowed to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community in certain situations as well. We must continue in our efforts to advocate for a more socially just society that protects rather than discriminates against its people on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
We cannot allow the reversal of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act by Trump’s Executive Order to stand. Even now, LGBTQ legal advocacy groups are strategizing ways to leverage this SCOTUS decision to take down this repellent Executive Order as quickly as possible. LGBT Senior Housing and Care fully supports their efforts so the transgender community will regain their prior access to necessary healthcare through the Affordable Care Act.
It has been an emotionally and physically difficult three and half years for the LGBTQ+ community and allies under the leadership of this particularly homophobic and transphobic President and his Administration, but occasionally bright moments like this one will remind us that our continued persistence in the fight for equality can and does make a difference.
Happy Pride everyone!