Ellen DeGeneres, George Takei and Other Stars Celebrate Supreme Court’s ‘Historic’ Ruling for LGBTQ Workers’ Rights
Celebrities, activists and politicians took to social media on Monday to celebrate the landmark Supreme Court decision that protects LGBTQ+ Americans from workplace discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act previously prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex, but the Court ruled 6-3 that any workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is also prohibited.
Numerous celebrities, politicians and members of the legal profession voiced their support online in the hours following the ruling. “Star Trek” actor George Takei, who identifies as gay, said on Twitter, “today we mark another milestone in our struggle for equality with a victory in the Supreme Court, extending Title VII non-discrimination [sic] protections to LGBTQs. O happy day!”
Other queer stars of the screen including Ellen DeGeneres and “Orange is the New Black” star Laverne Cox weighed in with their thoughts. DeGeneres called the decision “historic,” while Cox shared her thoughts on her Instagram stories Monday with an outpouring of emotion. The actress said when she heard the news, she first reached out to her friend Chase Strangio, a trans ACLU attorney who’s been instrumental in getting this ruling passed.
“Oh my god, everyone. Oh, my god, have you heard, have you heard? I am so overwhelmed, I just called my friend Chase Strangio from the ACLU just to confirm what the news reports are saying… but we have won at the Supreme Court of the United States,” Cox posted. “I can’t even believe it. I’m overwhelmed, it’s a 6-3 decision saying it’s illegal to fire someone on the basis of sex.”
Former presidential candidate, Afghanistan veteran and openly gay mayor Pete Buttigieg also shared his take on the news via Twitter. The Indiana mayor praised the ruling but said a federal equality act that further solidifies the rights of queer, transgender and gender-nonconforming Americans is the next needed step.
“Today, #SCOTUS has ruled that no LGBTQ American can be fired because of who they are or who they love. It was only 11 years ago this summer that I took an oath and accepted a job that I would have lost, if my chain of command learned that I was gay,” Buttigieg said. “Firing us wasn’t just permitted–it was policy. As of sunup this morning, many parts of America did not fully protect queer Americans from workplace discrimination, despite the Civil Rights Act. This is a major step…. (but) make no mistake — a Federal Equality Act is still urgently needed.”
Read the rest of Buttigieg’s statement and see more reactions to the historic Supreme Court ruling below.
Lawrence Yee contributed to this post.