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June 16, 2020

Philadelphia Bar Association Statement on the Supreme Court Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Protected Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Chancellor Hon. A. Michael Snyder (ret.) issued the following statement on the Supreme Court decision affirming that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected under Title VII Civic Rights Act of 1964:

"The Philadelphia Bar Association has long supported and encouraged the rights of all, and has repeatedly confirmed our commitment to advocating for the fair treatment of all individuals without regard to race, gender, or sexual orientation.

"We have previously passed Resolutions in support of the right of all individuals to marry those whom they wish, advocating for the rights of individuals of the same sex to marry one another.

"We remain firm in our belief that biases against individuals merely because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity are unlawful.

"Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination by their employers based on race, color, national origin, sex and religion.

"We are, therefore, pleased that the Supreme Court of the United States has issued a decision that upholds the right of LGBTQ individuals to receive the protection of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"To quote Justice Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County, 'Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids. ' Title VII has clearly stated that it is impermissible to discriminate against an employee based on their sex. Therefore, the Court determined that it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on their sexual orientation or their gender identity.

"The Supreme Court has clarified the meaning of Title VII, providing protection to all LGBTQ individuals from discrimination by their employers. We believe that this decision affords a protection that never should have been denied to these individuals. We are hopeful that the decision of the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court marks the end to yet another area of unlawful discrimination."

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