Monday, June 15, 2020

Why All Lives Matter Landmark Supreme Court Decision

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, is considered one of the crowning legislative achievements of the civil rights movement. Although the movement began to end segregation and discrimination against Blacks in the South, when the Act was passed it was all inclusive - the language was not specific to one group of people; it banned discrimination in public places or in the work place based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Today, that all inclusive language resulted in a victory for the LGBTQ community in a decision handed down by the Supreme Court and delivered by a conservative Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch. Justice Gorsuch was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the four liberal justices making this a 6-3 decision. 

Two members of the LGBTQ community who had been fired from their jobs for entering into same sex relationships took their case to court and it ended up in the Supreme Court which today upheld their right to keep their jobs regardless of sexual orientation. For the two conservatives on the court, the decision was made based on the wording of the text of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which mentioned the word sex. If the Civil Rights Act had been specific only to the rights of Blacks, this protection would have been denied the LGBTQ community which has suffered from discrimination as long as any other group in this country. That's why it is important to keep in mind that George Floyd, a Black man, is more than a Black man. He is the representative of all of us who have suffered from police brutality, injustice and discrimination. The leadership of Black Lives Matter has the opportunity to make important changes in our system for the betterment of all. I hope when dialogues begin and things start to change that the leadership will remember it's not just about Black people; please include all those groups that have suffered from injustice and discrimination for too many years. They are standing in solidarity with you because they know too well themselves the brutal consequences of hate and injustice. 


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