In a surprise move, the US Supreme Court ruled that those who are in the LGBTQ community, are protected from workplace discrimination by the Civil Rights Act. It was a surprise, because the US Supreme Court is stacked with a majority of conservative judges who were to assume certain religious beliefs that would have figured otherwise. But as two of those conservatives stated otherwise, the CRA definitely applies to the LGBTQ, while others who dissented only did so because they interpreted the act differently.
I have many friends and several family members in the gay community. Some of them have children. Some of my straight friends have children in the LGBTQ community. My children have many friends in the LGBTQ community, and have for quite some time going back many years. And like my children, I do not really give it much thought. I support everyone’s right to be who they are are. I will be honest, I do not spend a lot of conversations on gay rights with them, because conversations we have do not revolve around their sexual orientation. To me, they are a human being, no different than me whether it be the color of skin, health, education, or gender. We have wonderful conversations with each other, so unless it comes to issues that arise, we all just enjoy life and the joys it brings.
I understand how important this ruling is, regardless that it should not have had to happen in the first place, because as our Declaration of Independence clearly states, “all are created equal.” That means, we do not have the right to discriminate against another. We all have the same rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It does not matter if you have a belief that disagrees with that. The Declaration Of Independence is clear. All are created equal.
While this is a major victory for the LGBTQ, that does not mean that their fight will be over. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but as a major advocate of the American With Disabilities Act, I know first hand, there is a huge difference of having a law, and the loopholes that get created to get around them. But that does not mean that today is not a huge day for my LGBTQ friends and family. Their rights to work in a discriminatory-free environment are not only reaffirmed, but now clearly stated by the US Supreme Court. You have had these rights since the Civil Rights Act was signed. Now they are clear.
There will be other fights and challenges by bigots who will do what they can to disrupt the rights of our American citizens who have these unalienable rights under the Declaration Of Independence. And that just means that the LGBTQ, knowing they have these rights, will just need to be aware of the efforts to get around them. And if I had one bit advice I learned from fighting for the rights of the disabled?
Document. Document. Document. Everything. Save all of your work reviews that show your exemplary work record. Keep a diary of interactions, both friendly and not. And this is important, do not use your workplace as an advocacy tool because if you have an employer, or co-worker who is not supportive of the LGBTQ, you could be seen as disruptive, which is different than being discriminated against. It gives the employer grounds.
I know the fight of the LGBTQ is not over. But please know, you have the support of myself, and my children. Because we know, that all of us are created equal.