June 15, 2020 at 8:51 pm PDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Biden calls Supreme Court ruling ‘momentous step forward’

Presidential candidate Joe Biden praised Monday’s ruling on workplace rights. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee in the November U.S. presidential election, called Monday’s Supreme Court ruling confirming LGBTQ people are protected from employment discrimination under federal law, “a momentous step forward for our country.”

Biden was referring to the high court’s historic 6-3 ruling that the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes gay, bisexual, and transgender people in its prohibition against employment discrimination based on someone’s gender or sex.

“Before today, in more than half of states, LGBTQ+ people could get married one day and be fired from their job the next day under state law, simply because of who they are or who they love,” Biden said in his statement.

“Today, by affirming that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Supreme Court has confirmed the simple but profoundly American idea that every human being should be treated with respect and dignity.” Biden said. “That everyone should be able to live openly, proudly, as their true selves without fear,” he said.

“This decision is another step in our march towards equality for all,” Biden’s statement continues. “And while we celebrate this victory today, we know that our work is not yet done. As President, I look forward to signing into law the Equality Act, protecting the civil rights of LGBTQ+ Americans, and championing equal rights for all Americans,” he said. “Happy Pride!”

Biden was referring to the fact that the Equality Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives has passed but which is being blocked in the U.S. Senate, would protect LGBTQ people against forms of discrimination that the Supreme Court’s Title VII ruling on June 15 would not cover, such as discrimination in housing and public accommodations.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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