Anti-LGBT+ discrimination is sex discrimination

A surprising, very welcome and very important decision by the US Supreme Court says that anti-LGBT+ discrimination is sex discrimination and therefore LGBT+ people are protected in employment law. Some states already include LGBT+ people in their anti-discrimination protections, but this brings such protection to the states that do not.

As justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, explained with admirable clarity:

An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex.

It’s a terrible shame that one of the people responsible for the court case, trans woman Aimee Stephens, didn’t live to see it: she died a few weeks ago.

There is a lot of bad news for LGBT+ people in the world right now, not least in the UK where the Westminster government is expected to try and roll back trans people’s rights this week, and LGBT+ people’s rights in the US remain under threat (and in the US, fire-at-will employment law means they can still be discriminated against, but less overtly). Nevertheless this is something worth celebrating.