June 15th, 2020
Huge win for LGBTQ+ rights
As an LGBTQ+ American, as an activist who battled the insidious Oregon anti-gay ballot initiatives of the 1990's, and as the Democratic Party of Oregon's first out lesbian chair, I can barely scratch the surface in describing my joy at this morning's historic Supreme Court decision.
The stunning 6-3 ruling declares that LGBTQ+ workers are protected by federal anti-discrimination laws. This dramatically changes the status quo for millions of Americans — over half the states have no non-discrimination law that applies to LGBTQ+ workers. (Oregon passed protections in 2007.)
This is a HUGE victory for LGBTQ+ equality. This decision affirms that in America, you can no longer be fired or denied a job simply because of who you love or how you identify.
But even with this win, there is still more work to be done, including passing H.R. 5: The Equality Act, which would provide clear, comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across the country in all areas of the law. That bill passed out of the House more than a year ago, and has been sitting in Mitch McConnell's Senate ever since.
For Democrats, it was obvious that anti-discrimination laws apply to the LGBTQ+ community. Justice had been delayed and denied for far too long for many Americans, especially Aimee Stephens and Donald Zarda, two plaintiffs in today's cases who passed away as it was moving through the courts. But this ruling was far from assured, and that it was decided with a 6-3 majority was surprising news in and of itself.
Whether or not ALL Americans can enjoy full equality under the law shouldn't be a question of whether a Republican-appointed Justice decides to rule in favor of civil rights. And the only way to avoid that question entirely is with a Democrat in the White House and with the Senate in Democratic hands, ready to appoint Justices who will protect and uphold civil rights for ALL Americans.
This ruling is cause for celebration, but the work is far from over. If you're able, will you help elect Democrats up and down the ballot this fall by making a donation today?
"There is no room in this world for discrimination or racism," said Gerald Bostock, lead plaintiff in one of the cases.
As Democrats, we will keep pushing on that arc of justice for all Americans and all Oregonians.
Democratic Party of Oregon
News & Updates
Look here for news, commentary and updates from Linn Dems and ally organizations