County officials applaud Supreme Court ruling on workers’ rights

Court also decides not to hear case on state sanctuary law

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Santa Clara County officials applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 15 ruling to extend job protections to gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

In a 6-3 ruling, the Justices decided that gay and transgender people are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of sex as well as race, color, national origin and religion.

In a press release, county officials declared the ruling a victory for LGBTQ rights.

“By upholding the legal rights of LGBTQ workers throughout the United States, today’s landmark decision affirms the bedrock constitutional principle that all people are created equal, with unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuant of happiness,” said County of Santa Clara Chief Operating Officer Miguel Márquez. “We applaud today’s decision, which will bolster the county’s tireless efforts to achieve full equity of the LGBTQ community locally, regionally and nationally.”

“I am overjoyed that the Supreme Court has declared that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates the law,” said Maribel Martínez, who manages the County of Santa Clara’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs. “This is now one injustice that can begin to be righted. I hope the logic and reasoning will carry the day in other LGBTQ nondiscrimination contexts, such as Title IX and in health care. We still have a lot of work to do – but celebrating big wins like today’s is motivating.”

County Counsel James R. Williams weighed in on the LGBTQ ruling, and on the Justices’ decision to reject the petition by the Trump Administration to overturn California’s Sanctuary Law. That law forbids local law enforcement from cooperating with federal agents to identify and deport undocumented immigrants.
 
“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has confirmed what we have always said: that Title VII protects all workers, including all LGBTQ workers, from discrimination,” he said. “Today, the Supreme Court also rejected the Trump Administration’s misguided effort to overturn California’s sanctuary laws, preserving state and local decision-making about how to use state and local resources. These are both important victories for our diverse community and affirm the county’s values and our arguments in court.”

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