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.
The LGBTQ civil rights movement began 51 years ago with the Stonewall Riots, led by trans POC heroes. Today we mark another milestone in our struggle for equality with a victory in the Supreme Court, extending Title VII nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQs.
O happy day!
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 15, 2020
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) June 15, 2020
But our country has shown that it’s capable of moving in the right direction, and quickly. Sometimes. Let that be a source of hope, and urgency, in these times of anguish and expectation.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) June 15, 2020
Remember good news? This is good news. And the fact that one of Trump's appointees wrote the majority pro-gay/pro-trans opinion means that gay-hating/Trump-humping rightwingers are going to be blowing gaskets… so icing on the cake.https://t.co/rSE4W2kH6H
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) June 15, 2020
At my first job, I was stealth out of survival. I wasn't out as trans because I was afraid of being fired. Today's #SCOTUS ruling will encourage so many more folks to move beyond that fear. We honor you, Mrs. Aimee Stephens, for your fight. I know you're looking down on us.
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) June 15, 2020
Just in: the #supremecourt
decision maintains #TitleVII
protections for LGBTQIA+. it is
ILLEGAL TO FIRE A WORKER FOR
THEIR SEXUALITY, GENDER OR
— Peppermint (@Peppermint247) June 15, 2020
The fucking basics of humanity. But still good to wake up to. https://t.co/ILNoXcyWaY
— Pedro Pascal (@PedroPascal1) June 15, 2020
Civil Rights Law Protects L.G.B.T. Workers, Supreme Court Rules – The New York Times Oh look…people can actually make sane, sensible decisions. Color me fucking shocked. https://t.co/OuZbg5Qezk
— christopher landon (@creetureshow) June 15, 2020
going to get fired for simply being a terrible employee in celebration
— JP (@jpbrammer) June 15, 2020
WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WONWE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WONWE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WONWE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WONWE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WONWE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON
— Gillian Branstetter (@GBBranstetter) June 15, 2020
No one should be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
NYS will keep fighting until every LGBTQ+ person can be themselves without fear. https://t.co/pfAPKRqyoR
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 15, 2020
The #LGBTQ+ community (me included!) has been waiting anxiously for this opinion for months (I believe the case was initially argued way back in October). Leave it to #SCOTUS to keep us on the edge of our seats and share the opinion during #PRIDE2020. Happy Pride, everyone!!!
— Ronald W. Berkowsky, PhD ????️???? (@RonaldBerkowsky) June 15, 2020
Lawrence Yee contributed to this post.