During the middle of Pride month, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision on LBGTQ labor rights. In this decision, the court declared that discrimination against sexual orientation is illegal, as is is discrimination on the “basis of sex”, which is covered in Title XII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Laura Noble takes a few minutes to discuss what this means for North Carolina with CBS 17.
Transcript: CBS 17 News, June 15
Nationwide, more than 11 million people are part of the LGBTQ community, and, thanks to the Supreme Court, they now have equal workplace protections. CBS 17’s Holden Kurwicki joins us now outside of the LGBT center of Raleigh, where he is getting answers about exactly what this decision means here in North Carolina.
Holden: Groundbreaking. That’s how one advocate describes the Supreme Court Decision that gives members of the LGBTQ community equal protections within the workplace, but for Equality NC Director Kendra Johnson, the decision has a deeper meaning.
Kendra: I’ve had to hide who I was, question who I could be out about, question who I could talk about my kids with, they were my partner.
Holden: After years of fighting for change, Johnson views the Supreme Court victory as a small step in the right direction.
Kendra: Everyone should be valued for their intrinsic dignity and worth, and that the only thing that should determine why we’re fired is our job performance.
Holden: However, with three Justices voting against the protections, Johnson says there is still work to be done.
Kendra: A lot of people, you know, assume that because we are a country that believes in freedom and liberty that we are automatically protected.
Laura: Before this decision, people who were discriminated against on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation literally had no recourse.
Holden: Without larger protections from a state level, Johnson says many members of the LGBTQ community in North Carolina are still closeted due to laws like HB 142.
Laura: So, even with this landmark decision, in North Carolina, if you’re a company with 14 or less employees, you can discriminate against, you know, people all you want.
Kenda: When that sun sets, cities can pass these nondiscrimination ordinances, and we hope that in the North Carolina General Assembly will pass the equality for all.