The U.S. Supreme Court appeared sharply divided over the question of whether landmark civil rights law prohibiting gender discrimination on-the-job also extends to gay, lesbian and transgender workers.
Reuters reports the deciding vote could be Justice Neil Gorsuch, a conservative who has, on occasion, proven a swing vote.
Los Angeles LGBT employment discrimination attorneys and advocates have been following the case developments closely. The high court has never before ruled on transgender rights – employment or otherwise. In order for the case to be decided in favor of the employee plaintiffs at least one conservative justice would need to join the liberal minority.
Over two hours of oral testimony, three workers (one transgender and two gay) sought to convince justices they were entitled to the same protected status as other workers discriminated against on the basis of their biological gender – a protection expressly extended under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (That law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of color, race, religion and national origin.) Continue reading