Bostock v. Clayton County, 590 U.S. ___, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020)

The question for the United States Supreme Court in this (and two companion cases) was whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is violated by an employer that terminates an employee merely for being gay or transgendered.  In a 6-3 opinion written by President Trump’s first appointee to the Court (Justice Neil Gorsuch), the Court determined that Title VII does prohibit such discrimination in that it is “because of… sex.”  The Court came to this conclusion over spirited dissenting opinions from Justices Thomas, Alito and Kavanaugh, who focused on Congress’ intent in 1964, which everyone concedes did not include such protections.  The majority noted, however, that “…the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands.”  As a result of this opinion, all employers subject to Title VII (including those doing business in the states and municipalities that provided no protection against gay and transgender discrimination in the workplace) now must abide by the requirements of federal law with respect to such employees.  Notwithstanding his dissent, Justice Kavanaugh noted that it was “appropriate to acknowledge the important victory achieved today by gay and lesbian Americans… [who] can take pride in today’s result.”