The Supreme Court jumped right into the fire with the first case of its current term. The court’s justices should keep it simple in order to tamp down the flames.
Two cases, brought by gay and transgender plaintiffs, involve whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s employment discrimination protections apply to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals.
The underlying irony is that the Justice Department brought the cases to the court originally on behalf of LGBT plaintiffs. Now, it is arguing that the matter should be left to Congress.
This is the first session of the court since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote all four majority gay-rights opinions, including the ruling that gay couples have a right to marry.
The job discrimination matter shouldn’t even be in the courts. Why would employers want to fire employees who can do their jobs?
The law does not require an employer to retain employees because they are male, female, Catholic or Asian if they are not doing their jobs. It simply says you can’t fire them for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or medical history.
The question before the court is whether transgender, homosexual and bisexual employees should have the same protection under the law.
Justice Neil Gorsuch indicated that sexual orientation could be inferred from the words of the Civil Rights Act. Yet, he also worried that ruling as such might produce “massive social upheaval,” according to reports on the court proceedings in The New York Times.
Why should giving people protection from being fired produce anything other than a level employment field? Does Gorsuch really think Americans are pitchfork-wielding villagers, a la the movie “Shrek”?
The U.S. Constitution is clear that religion must remain separate from the law.
Science and society are more and more aware that gender is more fluid than once thought. Yes, accepting that fluidity and wanting to extend equal justice will require the court to interpret the meaning of “sex” in the law.
Younger generations have grown up in a world where sexual orientation and gender identity are assumed to be biology, not morality. The Supreme Court should assume the same things and protect everyone’s civil rights.