HOUSTON - A historic day for the LGBTQ community with the Supreme Court ruling that gay or transgender workers are now protected from job discrimination. Moving forward, if an employer fires an employee because their sexual orientation or sexual identity, they would be in violation of the Civil Rights Act.
Many say this was a long time coming.
“Oh my gosh I was, tears swelled in my eyes, I was excited because we’ve been waiting for October 8 for this decision...for me to hear, the great news that it’s going in our favor, I was just overwhelmed with emotions and excitement and happy and joy,” says Diamond Stylz, who is the executive director of Black Transwomen Inc.
Prior to that, she found herself living in the streets twice because she was fired. Her employer claiming it was easier to get rid of her than the group of people who were harassing her.
Stylz tells FOX 26, “It was rather scary, I didn’t know what I was going to do, and it actually change the trajectory of my life. I had to drop out of school, I had to go into survival sex work, and it just, workforce discrimination has been the bane of my existence.”
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the decision 6-3. Going forward, if an employer fired a worker for being gay or transgender they will be in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which already protects discrimination based on race, color, or religion.
Kristin Anderson, a Psychology Professor at the University of Houston-Downtown explains “now this decision will start to chip away at the psychological mindset of all of us kind of on the ground, and how we start to think about members of the queer community as fully humans, and so it’s a great opportunity for evolving attitudes towards queer people.”
Congressman Al Green spoke about this historic moment earlier today in Houston.
“So on this day we have moved one step closer to that more perfect union wherein you have liberty and justice for all,“ said Green.
Members of the LGBTQ community say that this another step in the right direction.
“The next step would be to pass the equality act, which gives our community broader protection outside of the scope of the workforce because this just protects us in the workplace.” Said Stylz.
There’s another battle that the LGBTQ community will have to fight.
Last week, the Trump administration made the decision to do away with healthcare protections for transgender patients that were put in place during President Obama’s time in office.