FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Those in the LGBTQ community are excited about Monday's Supreme Court ruling that they’re now protected from workplace discrimination under federal law.
In a six to three vote, the United States Supreme Court decided that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, members of the LGBTQ community can’t legally be discriminated against in their workplace.
Vic Spencer, the director of the LGBTQ Resource Center at Purdue Fort Wayne, says it’s a huge decision, especially as their office sends new employees out into the world.
"This is major. I mean, for a country that is only fifty, sixty years out from homosexuality and same-sex relationships being outright illegal to now we have federal protection for employment is major," Spencer said.
Since 2017, the State of Indiana has limited employment protection for those in the LGBTQ community.
Nikki Fultz, executive director of Fort Wayne Pride says this is something many didn’t realize.
Fultz explained, "A lot of people don’t realize that, especially if maybe they’re a straight ally and it’s not directly affecting them. A lot of people thought there were already protections, but there wasn’t. So, having this ruling allows us to, people to feel safe, be out and who they are so they’re not having to hide anything."
What this means is employers can’t fire someone if they sign up for an all-gay softball league, like plaintiff Gerald Bostock’s employer did in Georgia, or you can’t be let go for saying you are transitioning to your preferred gender, as Aimee Stephens’ employer did.
Fultz says while there’s still a long way to go for equality for all, those in the LGBTQ community are very excited about the decision today.
"Showing that this is another step forward for equality in our community is an important step and we hope to continue those steps in the future," Fultz said.
While discussed, the ruling does not extend to the religious freedom restoration act.
Justice Neil Gorsuch said in the Opinion of the Court that “how these doctrines protecting religious liberty interact with title vii are questions for future cases too.”