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Educators Discuss Supreme Court’s LGBTQ Ruling in Pride Month

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark civil rights decision barring job discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, announced Monday, was a huge win, said some CSUF faculty and resource center leaders. 

Eric Gonzaba, an assistant professor of American Studies specializing in race and sexuality and a self-described “Supreme Court junkie,” called it the most important decision in the court’s history on gay rights — even more so than the legalization of gay marriage in June 2015.

“It affects every single queer, LGBT person,” Gonzaba said. “Not every person thought marriage was the right struggle. But everyone, the vast majority of queer people, do work. The place of employment is important, it’s where they spend half of their lives, make a living.”

The timing is great, said Nat Betancourt, coordinator for the LGBT Queer Resource Center at Cal State Fullerton. She is working with the university’s Career Center to help students navigate getting a job, and feeling more optimistic about talking to LGBTQ students about what to expect when they go out into the workplace or job hunting.

“Unfortunately, there will be cases of discrimination, but now we have opportunities and resources to be able to get support and help,” she said. “Yes, you still have fear about being out and open in the workplace, but this can now eliminate a little bit of that,” she said. “You have rights, and that is very exciting.”

It was a “wonderful surprise” that the ruling came out during Pride Month, Betancourt said, and that the majority in the 6-3 court decision included conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion invoking the Title VII provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Continue reading in the Orange County Register.