SoCal reacts to Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ+ job protections

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Supreme Court may have a conservative tilt, but Monday's historic ruling certainly didn't show that.

The highest court in the country - in a 6 to 3 decision - finding that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination.

"The idea that federal civil rights legislation which protects everyone not only from employment discrimination bu from all kinds of discrimination - the idea that that would extend to transgender individuals is a huge leap forward in civil rights," stated Professor Jason Whitehead from Cal State Long Beach.

Chief Justice John Roberts and President Trump-appointee Neil Gorsuch both voted with the court's four liberal justices. Gorsuch even wrote the majority opinion.

The ruling the biggest Supreme Court decision for the LGBTQ+ community since 2015's marriage equality decision.

Terra Russell-Slavin, the Director of Policy for the Los Angeles LGBT Center said, "I woke up and many people across this country woke up with an incredible overwhelming sense of joy."

More than half of our states currently allow some form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

A 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality found more than a quarter of transgender people in California reported being fired, denied a promotion or not being hired for a job because of their gender identity.

"There's still bias and discrimination and I don't think that really comes as a surprise to anyone, but its real and what the Supreme Court did is make clear that that will no longer be accepted," added Russell-Slavin.

Experts say state laws limiting gay or transgender rights already on the books can no longer be enforced. All because a legislator hoping to scuttle the law decades ago added the word "sex" to it.

Whitehead added, "He thought, 'nobody's going to vote for this,' and it turned out to protect women. Its now turned out to protect gays and lesbians, and its now turning out to protect transgender individuals."
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