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Donald Trump says he will ‘live with’ historic Supreme Court LGBT+ ruling – despite vicious opposition from his administration

Nick Duffy June 16, 2020
President Donald Trump listens during a roundtable on “Fighting for America’s Seniors” at the Cabinet Room of the White House June 15, 2020 in Washington, DC.

President Donald Trump (Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has said he will “live with” the Supreme Court’s ruling that LGBT+ people are entitled to civil rights protections, despite his administration’s fierce opposition in court.

In a landmark 6-3 ruling on Monday, the court affirmed that LGBT+ people are entitled to protection from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity under Title VII, an existing sex-based civil rights law.

The ruling came in the face of opposition from the Trump administration, which had intervened in the case to argue that the Civil Rights Act does not apply to LGBT+ people.

Donald Trump had a bland response to Supreme Court ruling.

But asked about the ruling on Monday, Donald Trump issued a bland response and appeared unaware that his own Department of Justice had opposed the ruling.

He told reporters: “They’ve ruled. I’ve read the decision, and some people were surprised, but they’ve ruled and we live with their decision. That’s what it’s all about.

“We live with the decision of the Supreme Court, very powerful. A very powerful decision, actually, but they have so ruled.”

US President Donald Trump at the White House
US President Donald Trump at the White House (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

Intervening in the case, Trump’s Department of Justice had sought to assert that the provisions should only apply based on the “ordinary meaning of sex” as male or female, not covering sexual orientation or gender identity.

In the administration’s brief, Trump solicitor general Noel Francisco argued: “An employer who discriminates against employees in same-sex relationships thus does not violate Title VII [sex discrimination rules] as long as it treats men in same-sex relationships the same as women in same-sex relationships.”

Addressing the case of Aimee Stephens, who was fired for being trans, the Trump brief insisted that people are protected from discrimination based on “biological sex” which “does not encompass transgender status”.

The court’s ruling against the wishes of the Trump administration is significant as it provides crucial employment protections to LGBT+ people in all 50 states, who currently face a patchwork of state-level laws.

In 2019 the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would add more explicit LGBT+ discrimination protections to civil rights laws. However, the Republican leadership in the Senate has refused to bring the long-stalled bill to a vote.

Joe Biden had a much better response to Supreme Court ruling.

In contrast to Trump’s bland response to the ruling, presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden issued a statement celebrating the historic moment.

He wrote: “Today’s Supreme Court decision is a momentous step forward for our country. Before today, in more than half of states, LGBT+ people could get married one day and be fired from their job the next day under state law, simply because of who they are or who they love. This landmark 6–3 ruling affirms that LGBTQ+ Americans are entitled to equal rights under the law.

“The story of our nation is one of a relentless march toward greater justice and greater equality for all people. Fifty years ago this month, the first Pride march took place in New York City as a protest — as a call for liberation.

“Today, by affirming that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Supreme Court has confirmed the simple but profoundly American idea that every human being should be treated with respect and dignity. That everyone should be able to live openly, proudly, as their true selves without fear.”

Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden
Former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

He added: “This decision is another step in our march towards equality for all. And while we celebrate this victory today, we know that our work is not yet done.

“As president, I look forward to signing into law the Equality Act, protecting the civil rights of LGBT+ Americans, and championing equal rights for all Americans. Happy Pride!”

More: Aimee Stephens, Donald Trump, joe biden, supreme court, workplace discrimination

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