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From the LGBTQ Community to SCOTUS: We Won’t Back Down

| Reproaction

By: Kara Mailman

On October 8, hundreds of people rallied outside of the Supreme Court as the justices heard three cases dealing with workplace discrimination under Title VII. The three cases—Zarda v. Altitude, Bostock v. Clayton, and Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Stephens—will determine whether or not employers have the right to discriminate against LGBTQ employees. [1]

The morning started cold and tense — a suspicious package found near the Supreme Court re-routed the rally to the end of First Street for over an hour. [2] The approximately 40 counter protestors were right alongside us. They came from anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ groups such as Concerned Women for America and the Alliance Defending Freedom, as well as from the so-called “Women’s Liberation Front” (WoLF), who have participated in anti-abortion, conservative panels with the specific purpose of condemning transgender and non-binary people. [3] The counter protesters held signs that said things such as “Protect Fairness for Women” even though they are not working to do that and “The Trans Cult Stole My Kids” attempting to paint trans and non-binary people as dangerous people seeking to steal the rights of cisgender women and girls despite no evidence to bolster that claim.

Those who came to rally in support of LGBTQ people told a different story. Members of my community shared stories of how, for no reason other than their sexuality or gender, they were forced to leave their job. We held signs affirming the dignity of LGBTQ people, and signs mourning the disproportionately high number of Black trans women murdered in the U.S. each year. [4] Hundreds of us gathered to bear witness to what will be one of the most influential LGBTQ decisions of my lifetime; we were gathered to announce to the world that LGBTQ people deserve the same rights and protections as our cisgender, heterosexual siblings. As we chanted, 133 people were arrested engaging in civil disobedience in support of our LGBTQ siblings, sending a powerful message to those watching that LGBTQ people and our allies will not sit quietly while our rights are threatened. [5]

Every day, I am proud to be a bisexual, non-binary trans person; but on October 8, as I stood arm-in-arm with other members of my community, I was especially proud to be part of such a powerful, resilient group of people, all dedicated to ensuring our rights—including our right to work—are safe.

[1]  https://www.vox.com/2019/10/2/20883827/supreme-court-lgbtq-discrimination-title-vii-civil-rights-gay-trans-queer

[2] https://wjla.com/news/local/suspicious-package-found-in-front-of-supreme-court

[3] https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/conservative-group-hosts-anti-transgender-panel-feminists-left-n964246

[4] https://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2019

[5] https://rewire.news/article/2019/10/09/supreme-court-protesters-condemn-abhorrent-attempt-to-gut-lgbtq-employment-rights/

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