Most countries that have enabled same-sex marriage had a ban on workplace discrimination against gay people first. Yet in the US, even though the US Supreme Court ruled in that gay people can get married, it has yet to rule that they cannot be fired for their sexual orientation. It has not, in fact, been settled, as the more recent court rulings show. So why is discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, which many Western countries outlawed years ago, still up for debate in the US? One reason is that, remarkably, the question has never yet been put to the Supreme Court. The recent court rulings are the fruits of that argument.
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Supreme Court to rule on workplace bias against gay and transgender employees - Los Angeles Times
What limitations does the Constitution place on ability of states to treat people differently because of their sexual orientation? The Court first considered the matter in the case of Bowers v Hardwick , a challenge to a Georgia law authorizing criminal penalties for persons found guilty of sodomy. Although the Georgia law applied both to heterosexual and homosexual sodomy, the Supreme Court chose to consider only the constitutionality of applying the law to homosexual sodomy. Michael Hardwick, who sought to enjoin enforcement of the Georgia law, had been charged with sodomy after a police officer discovered him in bed with another man. Charges were later dropped. In Bowers , the Court ruled 5 to 4 that the Due Process Clause "right of privacy" recognized in cases such Griswold and Roe does not prevent the criminalization of homosexual conduct between consenting adults. One of the five members of the majority, Justice Powell, later described his vote in the case as a mistake.
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The Supreme Court on Monday set the stage for a landmark civil rights decision next year on whether gay, lesbian and transgender employees are protected nationwide from being fired or not hired under the federal law that bars sex discrimination in the workplace. After weeks of internal debate, the high court agreed to confront the issue amid a growing consensus in much of the nation that such discrimination is unjustified and should be illegal. The justices voted to hear three cases that came to conflicting results.
The Morrison government is seeking to amend the Marriage Act as part of its religious discrimination act, the first time the act will have been amended since the legalisation of same-sex marriage following the postal survey in The prime minister, Scott Morrison, reportedly told colleagues he wants to consult with Labor on the proposed legislation, and backbenchers will be allowed to shape the legislation through workshops with Porter starting later this week. Due to earlier leaks about the contents of the Ruddock report, the government was facing pressure from Labor and LGBT groups to legislate to prevent LGBT students being kicked out of religious schools, or LGBT teachers from being fired from religious schools on the grounds of their sexuality or gender identity. In the Senate on Tuesday night, the Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said the report deadline should be brought forward before any new law is passed.