PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney, the City’s Office of LGBT Affairs, and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) today issued the following statements regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. The Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The vote was decided 6-to-3.
Mayor Jim Kenney:
“I am encouraged by today’s Supreme Court decision regarding employment discrimination against LGBTQ people across the United States. In Philadelphia, our LGBTQ communities were already protected under local laws, but found themselves vulnerable when they left city limits. That’s why it was so critical that the Supreme Court affirm protections for LGBTQ people across the nation.
“LGBTQ communities here in Philadelphia and across the country have experienced incredible pain in recent weeks following the killings of their transgender siblings—Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Dominique Rem’mie Fells, Riah Milton, and too many others. These losses came at a time when the community would normally be celebrating the joyous occasion of Pride Month. And while today’s news will not take away the pain so many are feeling, I hope it brings some sense of comfort that our country is slowly making progress. The Court’s decision is a critical step in protecting members of our LGBTQ communities from discrimination that is still pervasive throughout the nation.
“Today, we celebrate this momentous ruling with our LGBTQ community members.”
Celena Morrison, Executive Director, Office of LGBT Affairs:
“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered its opinion on employment discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across the country. The opinion affirmed what we in the city of Philadelphia have long known to be true: our LGBTQ communities need and deserve the protection of full equality under the law.
“The City of Philadelphia has proudly been a home for our vibrant LGBTQ communities, with strong laws in place protecting us from discrimination in employment, public accommodation, and housing. We are glad to see this affirmed on a national scale.
“After weeks of mourning following the killings of our trans siblings, we are glad our communities now have a victory to celebrate—even if it is long overdue.
“The Office of LGBT Affairs and the City of Philadelphia remain as committed as ever to the mission of fostering equal working and living conditions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. We will continue to advocate for LGBTQ people in all areas of City government.”
Rue Landau, Executive Director, PCHR:
“The Supreme Court’s decision finally ends the patchwork of LGBTQ employment protections across the country. Today, we can say all LGBTQ people in America have the right to be who they are in the workplace without the fear of being fired. This is especially important for LGBTQ people of color who often face discrimination based on their intersectional characteristics. In Philadelphia, we have been protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing and places of public accommodation for almost 40 years. The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations is elated that it is now explicitly clear for the rest of the country that, ‘An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.’ We will continue to fight for comprehensive statewide and national LGBTQ protections in housing and public accommodations.”