Whichever way the justices go, this ruling will have a massive impact on the lives of LGBTQ people, especially those who are most disenfranchised, such as transgender women of color. The fight for rights will necessarily continue either way.
If the Supreme Court rules against Title VII covering discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, it could have implications for issues beyond workers’ rights.
“We see a potential kind of domino effect of this court ruling [if the Court affirms Title VII protects LGBT people], where affirmatively we could then say, ‘Okay, sex discrimination in housing includes LGBT people, sex discrimination in health care that currently exist under federal law, that includes LGBT people,” Naomi Goldberg, of MAP, told NewNowNext ahead of Tuesday’s hearings.
Goldberg noted that even if the ruling went the way of LGBTQ workers, there would still be no federal law prohibiting discrimination in places of public accommodations, and therefore the fight to pass the Equality Act into law would remain crucial.
If the ruling goes against LGBTQ protections, and workers are left to rely on a patchwork of state and local laws, state and local elections will become even more crucial.
Annise Parker, of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, told NewNowNext that the influx of openly LGBTQ candidates into races across the country is set to continue into 2020, and that it will have a huge impact.
“It matters very much what happens at the statehouse level,” Parker said. “What we see over and over again is the importance of electing a critical mass of legislators.”