Supreme Court to Decide Whether Landmark Civil Rights Law Applies to Gay and Transgender Workers

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04/23/2019

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 guarantees protections from workplace discrimination to gay and transgender people in three cases expected to provide the first indication of how the court’s new conservative majority will approach L.G.B.T. rights.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has said the 1964 act does guarantee the protections. But the Trump administration has taken the opposite position, saying that the landmark legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and, notably, sex, cannot fairly be read to apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status.

The three cases the court accepted are the first concerning L.G.B.T. rights since the retirement last summer of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a champion of gay rights. His replacement by the more conservative Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh could shift the court’s approach to cases concerning gay men, lesbians and transgender people.

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