KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Local LGBTQ activists said Tuesday they were shocked, but ecstatic to learn the Supreme Court ruled in their favor on Monday.
The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against LGBT workers.
Victoria Scott, Vice President of Knox Pride, said that the ruling was monumental for the LGBTQ community.
“The meaning of this ruling is just plain and simple that you don’t have to have the fear of being terminated from your job for being who you are,” Scott said.
Knox Pride usually hosts Pridefest around mid-June, but because of COVID-19, the event was canceled.
Scott said it was bittersweet not being able to celebrate in person, but the ruling is still worth celebrating.
“It gives you an immense feeling of joy for the community to see the advancement within the law. It makes me very excited, and also, I thought about how this kind of ties into you know, the movement as a whole and where that puts us in the struggle, and that there’s still so much work to be done,” Scott said.
She said the ruling was a huge triumph for transgenders, who she said were often left out of LGBTQ changes.
“The way that certain parts of the decision were written, it’s very inclusive to the transgender community and that is huge,” Scott said.
Although more work needs to be done for LGBTQ+ rights, Scott said the ruling allows their community to start helping others fight their own, but similar battles.
“This decision coming down during Pride month is monumental and I think it will go a very long way to help support our community and in turn, allow us to be better allies to the people in the struggles and the fight right now for the Black Lives Matter movement,” Scott said.
Knox Pride will be fundraising for three local organizations: Alcoa-Blount NAACP, Sleeves 4 Needs, and The Women, LLC of Knoxville.
KnoxPride will match donations up to $1,000 per organization until June 30.
Scott wanted to remind the LGBTQ+ community that just because the Supreme Court voted this time to back their efforts, it doesn’t mean the fight is over.
She said the community can expect appeals of the decision.
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