Green River Star -

By Shay Mahana
Intern 

A landmark decision for equality

 


A great stride was made in the efforts of workplace equality June 15.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Gerald Bostock, Donald Zarda and Aimee Stephens, all victims of discrimination and unjust firing.

Bostock worked as a child advocate for Clayton County, Georgia. Bostock loved his job and had no problems in the workplace, until he was fired shortly after joining a gay recreational softball team. He sued his former employer in 2016, but it took years for the suit to travel through the court system. While waiting for his case to reach a court that would do him justice, Bostock learned of other people seeking justice as well.

Zarda was a skydiving instructor, often performing tangent jumps involving being closely strapped in with customers. Before a tangent jump with a teenage girl, he mentioned to her that he was gay to relive some discomfort at the close physical contact. After his former employer had heard, Zarda was fired with no reasonable explanation.

Stephen worked at a funeral home. After taking time to assure herself, she told her coworkers and boss that she was going transition from male to female. Stephen was fired shortly after her gender surgery and was given no reasonable explanation.

All three were removed from their jobs due to their involvement in the LGBTQ+ community. Like Bostock, Zarda and Stephens had to wait for their day in court. However in time, the supreme court ruled in favor of the trio. Unfortunately both Zarda and Stephen passed away before the case was concluded.

Bostock was in shock when he heard the news. However he knew the fight wasn’t over and hopes to continue working for equality and to honor Zarda and Stephens’ memory. Though Congress has yet to pass an equality act, which would prevent LGBTQ+ members from being discriminated against in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and other aspects of everyday life, Bostock considers this a victory for the community and feels as though it is only one of many more to come.

Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, this ruling affects me personally. It brought me great joy to hear about the Supreme Court’s ruling, as I have had trouble at past workplaces with discrimination. This ruling is vital for sexual orientation and gender equality. Decisions taking a step towards equality makes a large impact in people’s lives.

The decision will upset people, especially those who do not stand for equality. However, for those fighting every day to live without fear of being hated for who they are, it was a huge victory. Pride Month is dedicated to the positive self affirmation, equality and visibility of LGBTQ+ members around the world.

The court siding with the community was a great triumph during the month dedicated to making community members feel accepted.

 

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