D.C. Hails High Court Gay/Trans Civil Rights Decision

Global tech trade association ITI has commended the Supreme Court for its landmark gay and transgender civil rights decision.  

That was among the many reactions from tech, communications and policy circles to the news.

“An inclusive and diverse workplace makes our communities and our companies stronger,” said ITI President Jason Oxman. “This historic decision ensures that employees across the United States are protected by law from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace. Our industry stands with our LGBTQ employees and partners to celebrate this significant milestone and continue the ongoing fight for equality, including urging the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act. 

The High Court, in a 6-3 decision, has held that the 1964 Civil Rights Act prevents discrimination by an employer on the basis of sexual orientation, a huge victory for the civil rights of the LGBTQ community. 

The court reversed an 11th Circuit Court decision that an employer could fire someone for "simply being homosexual or transgender." 

Conservatives joining the liberals in overturning the 11th Circuit were Justice Neil Gorsuch, who penned the decision, and Chief Justice John Roberts.  

Dissenting from the decision were Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, who joined in a dissent written by Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh, who wrote his own dissent.  

Also weighing in from Washington was FCC Commissioner Jessica Roswenworcel, who tweeted:


Verizon said in a statement: "Today’s historic ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for Verizon employees and millions of American workers. We fully support equality for LGBTQ+ individuals and have long advocated for these issues."

Earlier this month, Verizon was named one of the best places to work in terms of LGBTQ equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. (opens in new tab)

“With this landmark court ruling the Supreme Court has recognized that discrimination against LGBTQ employees is not permissible under federal civil rights law," said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. "We stand with the Human Rights Campaign and the hundreds of other companies that filed in support of LGBTQ inclusion and non-discrimination. This ruling is an important step towards equal treatment for the LGBTQ community and their families.”

“We are a proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community and have long supported efforts to ensure employees feel safe, valued and heard," said AT&T senior VP and chief diversity officer Corey Anthony. "Since 1975, we have implemented polices prohibiting discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation. AT&T also joined many companies in filing an amicus brief last summer in support of this outcome. We agree with today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision and look forward to continuing to champion an inclusive culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse background of our employees and society.”

"Diversity is our national special sauce which fosters innovation," said Consumer Technology Association President Gary Shapiro. "Today's historic Supreme Court ruling protecting LGBTQ+ people is a landmark victory for freedom and diversity, which will continue to propel our country's entrepreneurial spirit forward. Our nation was created to be, and continues to serve as, a beacon for freedom, liberty and equal opportunity, and today's ruling ensures that we continue to be a country where anyone can invent, create and do business. This decision upholds these values and helps ensure all Americans can be their best selves."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.