Today’s Supreme Court decision regarding Fulton v Philadelphia is an important decision for the LGBTQ+ community. The court ruled that the city of Philadelphia’s nondiscrimination law included a discretionary exception – something that most nondiscrimination laws do not include – that requires them to offer an exception to Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia.
In the unanimous ruling, the court did not establish a broad right for religious organizations to discriminate. Further, the court affirmed that cities and states can enforce nondiscrimination laws as long as those laws are applied neutrally and consistently.
“Advocates across the country agree that this ruling is narrowly applied specifically to this case. The court could have ruled much more broadly but they didn’t. That’s good news for those of us working to protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination,” states Abbi Swatsworth, Executive Director of OutNebraska. “In last year’s historic ruling, the Supreme Court made it clear that federal law protects against discrimination in the workplace but gaps remain. We’ll continue advocating for federal action so that all of us are treated fairly in all parts of public life.”
Polling indicates that a majority of people, including people of faith, support protections for LGBTQ+ people. The Equality Act will strengthen existing federal civil rights law for all Americans, including protections based on race, color, sex, national origin, and religion. This legislation is especially important for LGBTQ+ Nebraskans because our state currently has no comprehensive protections for the LGBTQ+ community.
OutNebraska is a non-partisan organization working to empower, celebrate and grow LGBTQ+ communities in Nebraska. For more information visit outnebraska.org.