Illinois Groups React To Supreme Court's Ruling Protecting LGBT Worker Civil Rights

Jennifer Keiper
June 15, 2020 - 2:08 pm
LGBTQ Rights

Related: Justices Rule LGBT People Protected From Job Discrimination

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Reaction is coming in after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving LGBTQ people and workplace firings.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a landmark civil rights law protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment. It decided by a 6-to-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.
 
The group “Equality Illinois” said there is still some work to be done, but they’ll take Monday’s win.

Shortly after the ruling be the Supreme Court, Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson told WBBM Newsradio "we are really excited."

Johnson said he wasn’t sure what to expect from this Supreme Court, and it doesn’t create any new benefits here in Illinois, since protections in the workplace for LGBTQ people have been in place since the 2006 update of the Illinois Human Right’s Act.

"It's exciting to know now that all Illinoisans, no matter where they work, be it Chicago or Gary, Indiana, or Davenport, Iowa, or St. Louis, Missouri, will have the same protections in the workplace," he said.

Johnson believes that Illinois is at the forefront about what it means to create an affirming state for LGBTQ people, but at the same time he believes the state has a way to go when it comes to those who are black and LGBTQ, and providing them access to quality healthcare, as well as protecting from them police intimidation and brutality.

The Supreme Court cases involved two gay men and a transgender woman who sued for employment discrimination after they lost their jobs.

John Knight is with ACLU of Illinois, and a member of the legal team that represented transgender woman Aimee Stephens.  Stephens died last month, and Knight said "to this day people face discrimination constantly. It is sad. Unfortunately that we have lost my client Aimee Stephens, and she was not here to see this victory...in her fight."

A fight which Knight said was long and difficult for Stephens.