The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that LGBTQ are protected from job discrimination under federal civil rights law—a decision that several associations praised as an important victory for worker rights.
The justices decided by a 6-3 vote that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination because of sex, encompasses bias against LGBTQ workers, the Associated Press reported. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion.
In a statement, National Association of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons said the court’s decision “not only sends a powerful message of inclusion and equality to millions of Americans but also affirms that LGBT Americans cannot be fired just for being their authentic selves at work.” Timmons is a gay man who, along with his husband, fought a lengthy legal battle for custody of their surrogate son after a Wisconsin judge objected to the arrangement.
“Too many LGBT Americans go to work every day hiding who they are or whom they love because they believe that simply living authentically would mean losing their jobs and livelihoods,” Timmons said. “The Supreme Court has begun to lift that heavy emotional burden and made history by affirming that LGBT workers are entitled to federal protections, too.”
Business Roundtable also praised the decision in a short statement, saying the ruling was “an important step forward in the effort to ensure equality and fairness in the workplace.”
Groups representing a range of industries and professions—such as the American Association for Justice, Endocrine Society and WorldatWork—all hailed the decision. TechNet CEO Linda Moore noted her group led a coalition of businesses and associations opposed to legislation in Texas that would have required people to use public bathrooms corresponding to their sex at the time of birth.
“At TechNet, we believe there is no place for discrimination, and today we are proud to see that the principles we espouse are now the law of the land in workplaces across our nation,” she said.