Long Island's LGBT community keeping close eye on workplace discrimination casesPosted: Updated:
The LGBT community on Long Island is watching three cases closely that are now before the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court justices are considering whether employers have the right to fire or not hire someone simply because of their sexual orientation.
Em Moratti says her first job offer at a school was rescinded when people found out she was a lesbian and threatened to pull their kids out of the school.
"I got called down to the principal's office, which never happened to me when I was a student," says Moratti. "At the second meeting, when they explained to me that the library position wouldn't work out, I cried."
One of the three cases before the high court originated on Long Island when a skydiving instructor says he was fired because he was gay.
"His rights should have been protected," says David Kilmnick, of the LGBT Network.
Activists say they fear that if the Supreme Court rules against the LGBT community in any of these cases that it will open the door to challenging other LGBT rights.
The justices are expected to rule early next year.
President of the Catholic League, Bill Donahue, released the following statement regarding the case to News 12:
"The two cases involving the rights of gay employees, and the workplace rights of a transgender person, are not identical, but there is one common factor that unites them: the rights being claimed under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act are nowhere found in that law. This provision makes discrimination based on sex—being a man or a woman—illegal. It says nothing about sexual orientation, never mind so-called gender identity, the claim that the sexes are interchangeable.
The substantive issue at stake—whether an employee whose sexual orientation or "gender transition" to the opposite sex can be seen as disqualifying by the employer—is a secondary issue. The primary issue is one of separation of powers. To be specific, the courts are not empowered to make new laws.
If gays and transgender persons want more rights, they must pursue their claims through the legislature. And they must make those claims without violating the religious liberties of employers. At bottom, their status is tied to their behavior, making comparisons to racial discrimination ludicrous."
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