SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted federal job protections to gay, lesbian, and transgender workers. In doing so, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a victory for LGBTQ rights and a defeat to President Trump’s administration by ruling that longstanding federal law barring workplace discrimination protects gay and transgender employees.
“By upholding the legal rights of LGBTQ workers throughout the United States, today’s landmark decision affirms the bedrock constitutional principle that all people are created equal, with unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said County of Santa Clara Chief Operating Officer Miguel Márquez. “We applaud today’s decision, which will bolster the County’s tireless efforts to achieve full equity of the LGBTQ community locally, regionally, and nationally.”
The landmark 6-3 ruling represents the biggest moment for LGBTQ rights in the United States since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015. The Justices decided that gay and transgender people are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sex as well as race, color, national origin, and religion.
“That even a conservative Supreme Court today voted to protect LGBTQ employees from work discrimination reaffirms the humanity of all LGBTQ people and establishes precedent for the protection of LGBTQ people in every area of our society,” said Deputy County Executive, David Campos.
Workplace bias against gay and transgender employees had remained legal in much of the country, with 28 U.S. states lacking comprehensive measures against employment discrimination. Today’s ruling recognizes new worker protections under federal law.
“I am overjoyed that the Supreme Court has declared that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates the law,” said Maribel Martínez, who manages the County of Santa Clara’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs. “This is now one injustice that can begin to be righted. I hope the logic and reasoning will carry the day in other LGBTQ nondiscrimination contexts, such as Title IX and in health care. We still have a lot of work to do – but celebrating big wins like today’s is motivating.”
County Counsel James R. Williams weighed in on the LGBTQ ruling, and on the Justices’ decision to reject the petition by the Trump Administration to overturn California’s Sanctuary Law:
“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has confirmed what we have always said: that Title VII protects all workers, including all LGBTQ workers, from discrimination. Today, the Supreme Court also rejected the Trump Administration’s misguided effort to overturn California’s sanctuary laws, preserving state and local decision-making about how to use state and local resources. These are both important victories for our diverse community and affirm the County’s values and our arguments in court.”
The County of Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley, has always been a beacon of diversity, inclusion and the defense of human rights.
“Today’s refusal to hear the Trump Administration’s challenge to the California Values Act affirms California’s commitment to the health and well-being of all of its residents, including recent immigrants who contribute so much to our state,” said Chief Operating Officer Miguel Márquez. “While we applaud today’s decision, the fight to protect the fundamental rights of our immigrant communities continues. We remain hopeful the Court will also reach a favorable decision to protect the nation’s 700,000 DACA recipients who serve in our hospitals, schools, and in so many other critical roles.”
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on DACA is expected later this week.
ABOUT THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA
The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.
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Media Contact: María Leticia Gómez, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119.
Posted: June 15, 2020