Supreme Court rules LGBTQ workers are protected from job discrimination
June 15, 2020
In a landmark ruling by a vote of 6-3, “the court said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate because of a person’s sex, among other factors, also covers sexual orientation and transgender status. It upheld rulings from lower courts that said sexual orientation discrimination was a form of sex discrimination.” Read full article here.
Yet critical gaps remain, and the need for the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) is critical. LGBTQ people can still be legally discriminated against in housing, including nursing homes, and denied vital services such as hospice care, banking, and more. Women’s Voices will continue to advocate for the passage of MONA, which has been introduced in the Missouri legislature 22 times.
St. Louis-Area LGBTQ Workers Prepare For ‘Terrifying’ Supreme Court Rulings In 2020
October 18, 2019 – St. Louis Public Radio
The court could rule next year that federal civil rights law doesn’t prevent employers from firing people for being gay, bisexual or transgender. If the court decides against the employees in the cases, Missouri’s estimated 180,000 LGBTQ adults would be left with little recourse against discrimination in the workplace. … County and municipal governments can enact laws that prohibit anti-LGBTQ discrimination at both public and private sector workplaces. But only 18% of Missouri’s adult population is covered by such laws, according to Movement Advancement Project. Listen to or read the St. Louis Public Radio account here.
L.G.B.T.Q. in the Midwest, Where the Fight Is Still Happening
June 2, 2019
As people gather in New York City to “celebrate the 50th anniversary of the uprising at the Stonewall Inn, which marked the start of a national pride movement… some in the Midwest say there’s still work to be done — either because they’re still struggling, or because they feel that the L.G.B.T.Q. community has forgotten them.”
A May 30, 2019 article in the New York Times begins with comments from St. Louisan, Gene Dawson. 88 year old Dawson “feels that places outside of New York and San Francisco — like St. Louis — are never given their due when it comes to L.G.B.T.Q. history. “We had queens that stuck up for everything, too,” Mr. Dawson said. “They don’t give St. Louis credit for anything. They just assume we’re all farmers 10 or 20 years behind everyone else. We were never behind anyone, especially the gay people.”
Standing with the LGBT Community: Hate Has No Place
Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice joins with many other organizations and individuals in the St. Louis community and across the country in condemning the brutal act of violence that took 49 lives and injured 53 others in Orlando, FL on June 12. This massacre, motivated by hate and bigotry, can not and must not go unanswered.
We will continue our commitment to common sense gun regulation, including a ban on military style assault weapons. We will continue to speak out against discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, race, religion or gender. We will come together in solidarity with the majority of Americans who believe in the founding principles of our country, that everyone has the right to live in a free and democratic society where the rights and liberties of all are valued and protected.
In Missouri You Can Be Fired For Being Gay
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District denied James Pittman’s claim against his employer for creating a hostile work environment – and eventually firing him – because he is a gay man. In his opinion Judge James Welch writes:
Unlike many other states, Missouri has not enacted legislation prohibiting discrimination against homosexuals by adding sexual orientation as a protected status in the Missouri Human Rights Act. If the Missouri legislature had desired to include sexual orientation in the Missouri Human Rights Act’s protections, it could have done so. No matter how compelling Pittman’s argument may be and no matter how sympathetic this court or the trial court may be to Pittman’s situation, we are bound by the state of the law as it currently exists. Without the legislative addition of “sexual orientation” to the statutory list of protected statuses, the Missouri Human Rights Act does not prohibit discrimination based upon a person’s sexual orientation.
Women’s Voices calls on the Missouri Legislature to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. MONA would simply extend the existing Missouri Human Rights Statute to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and allied people.
Supreme Court Rules for Marriage Equality
June 26, 2015
The majority bases its conclusion that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right on “four principles and traditions”: (1) right to person choice in marriage is “inherent in the concept of individual autonomy”; (2) “two-person union unlike any other in its importance to the committed individuals”; (3) marriage safeguards children and families; (4) marriage is a keystone to our social order.
Justice Kennedy wrote: No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.