U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and others on Monday praised the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the sex discrimination prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits firing an individual merely on the basis of that individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling affirms what we know to be right: that an employer cannot fire someone for simply being gay or transgender in America. As a next step, in order to address gaps that still exist in federal civil rights laws and strengthen protections for LGBTQ Americans, the Senate should finally bring the House-passed Equality Act to the floor,” Durbin said in a statement.
The Illinois Department of Human Rights also responded to SCOTUS’ decision, which came on a 6-3 vote with two of the court’s conservative judges voting in the majority.
The Illinois Human Rights Act has provided workplace non-discrimination protections for GBTQ Illinoisans since 2006. Monday’s ruling is a major victory for all LGBTQ people across the country, Illinois Department of Human Rights Director Jim Bennett said.
“We are elated and joyously surprised by today’s SCOTUS decision. While Illinois state law already extends protections to LGBTQ individuals, this decision provides essential recourse nationwide by solidifying protections in the workplace.
“This decision is one of the most notable legal wins for the LGBTQ community since marriage equality became law five years ago. Today’s decision is equally as historic and cause for celebration, understanding that the work and fight for human rights continues on,” Bennett’s statement said.
The IDHR enforces the Illinois Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in the contexts of employment, housing, financial credit, public accommodations, and sexual harassment in education.