LAS VEGAS— Advocates for Nevada’s LGBTQ communities are celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling guaranteeing equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer workers.
ACLU of Nevada Policy Director Holly Welborn said:
“This is a landmark victory. The Supreme Court has ruled that employers can't unfairly fire or otherwise discriminate against LGBTQ people in the workplace. We’ve enjoyed these protections in Nevada for some time, but this will go a long way towards affirming legal protections in education, housing, credit and health care across the country.”
Silver State Equality State Director André C. Wade said:
"We celebrate and applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to affirm that members of the LGBTQ+ community in every state across the nation are protected from discrimination in the workplace under federal law. No one in this country should lose their job and their livelihood simply because of who they are. This may be one of the most consequential cases for our community since the Obergefell marriage equality decision.
"Despite this important victory in our ongoing fight for equality, we must remain vigilant. Our work is not over. We must pass the Equality Act, which has been sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk for over a year, to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected from discrimination in every aspect of life. And we must continue to stand strong in the fight for racial justice and our fight to ensure every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare. Today, we celebrate this important milestone. Tomorrow, the work continues.”
ABOUT THE CASES
The LGBTQ discrimination cases are R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, Altitude Express v. Zarda, and Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga. The cases asked whether LGBTQ people are covered under the Civil Rights Act’s prohibitions on sex discrimination.
The Harris Funeral Homes case concerns Aimee Stephens, who worked as a funeral director. When she informed the funeral home’s owner that she is transgender and planned to come to work as the woman she is, the business owner fired her, saying it would be "unacceptable" for her to appear and behave as a woman.
Donald Zarda, a skydiving instructor, was fired from his job because of his sexual orientation. A federal trial court rejected his discrimination claim, saying that the Civil Rights Act does not protect him from losing his job for being a gay man. Gerald Bostock was fired from his job in Georgia after he joined a gay softball team.
LGBTQ RIGHTS IN NEVADA
Nevada became the 11th state to adopt the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 1999. That law included protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation, which was still not protected under federal laws.
In 2009, Nevada expanded the law to include protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation in places of public accommodation.
In 2011, Nevada again expanded the law to include protections against discrimination based on gender identity and expression, including in the workplace and places of public accommodation.