Supreme Court ruling offers comfort for local LGBTQ+ community

By Darian Gillette - For the Portsmouth Daily Times

The Supreme Court has ruled that workplaces cannot fire anyone who is part of the LGBTQ+ community based on their identity.

On Monday the Supreme Court ruled a landmark civil rights law protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court.

The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against LGBT workers.

“It’s been a long time overdue,” said Gallen Randall. “I am happy it finally happened, but this was supposed to happen a long time ago.”

Randall said there is always a catch when he goes to apply for a job of having to explain who he is and what he will tolerate, but he still fears people will still treat those who are a part of the community differently.

“It’s like with same-sex marriage back in 2015 Alabama was quick to say to everyone in the state you’re allowed to not cater to people who are same-sex,” said Randall. “People across the states are just going to do that.”

With planning to major in Music Performance, Randall stays hopeful that the discrimination will never have to be a problem for him but still worries it may be.

“You don’t typically see a trans lead in a band,” said Randall. “There is always that fear of will this even be possible.”

Randall was one of many who were happy to see the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the LGBTQ+ community.

“I was very excited and very heart warmed when I heard that most of the Supreme Court was like no this is wrong,” said Aidaen Gee. “For the first time in American history, we actually have protection under the law and the workplace.”

Gee said he was not surprised with the change because of how many people are forward-thinking now but understands some still have not fully accepted it.

“I’m not really someone who can pass as straight so when I walk into places, I am kind of like oh god,” said Gee. “it does scare me when I have applied at other places because I can tell that I have made other people uncomfortable before.”

Although Gee said he has never personally experienced discrimination in the workplace, it is still a fear in his mind.

“I am very lucky. I am the exception to the rule that happens almost everywhere you go,” said Gee. “I know way too many people who have dealt with that pain and that dismissal of we can’t have that around here, you just never know how someone is going to react but at least we know now we have protection.”

By Darian Gillette

For the Portsmouth Daily Times