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Supreme Court divided over LGBT rights cases

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:25s - Published < > Embed
Supreme Court divided over LGBT rights cases

Supreme Court divided over LGBT rights cases

U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday appeared divided over whether a landmark decades-old federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in the workplace protects gay and lesbian employees as they heard arguments in one of the biggest cases of their current term.

Jillian Kitchener has more.


Supreme Court divided over LGBT rights cases

Supporters of LGBT rights came out in force, Tuesday, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in three cases relating to a major dispute.

At issue - whether a landmark, decades-old anti-discrimination law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race, color, and religion - also covers LGBT workers.

The justices on Tuesday appeared divided.

While the four liberal justices on the nine-member court signaled sympathy toward arguments that LGBT workers are covered, Conservative Justice Samuel Alito said that if the court rules that gay and lesbian workers are protected, it would effectively be rewriting 1964 Civil Rights Act enacted by Congress in a way that was never intended.

Aimee Stephens is one of the plaintiffs in the case.

She says she was fired as a funeral home director after revealing her plans to transition from male to female.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) PLAINTIFF AIMEE STEPHENS, SAYING: "What happened to me was wrong and hopefully we can fix that and correct it from this point on." A small group of demonstrators opposing gay and transgender rights also was present holding signs that read, โ€œFear Godโ€ and โ€œSin and shame, not pride.โ€ Rulings in the cases are due by the end of June.

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