YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Supreme Court ruling has set a historic precedent that says employers cannot discriminate based on a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation.
It will impact an estimated eight million workers.
“No state can now allow an employer to do that, to fire someone based on their orientation,” said Kim Akins, attorney for the Youngstown Pride Board.
Akins says the ruling will allow those in the LGBTQ community to live their lives without fear.
“Now, people are free to be who they are without having to hide it, without having to anticipate that there will be punishment for finding that out,” Akins said.
Community activists in the Valley were surprised that this Supreme Court voted in their favor.
“The fact that two very conservative, very outspoken Supreme Court justices voted in favor of this is a large leap from what we were expecting,” said Daniel Tirabassi, director of client care for Full Spectrum Outreach.
Tirabassi says the ruling is a milestone victory, but would like to see protections set up beyond the workplace.
“It’s been a constant battle for over 40 years now and we’re just working on moving this out of employment into other places,” Tirabassi said.
Tirabassi encourages those in the community to speak out if they think they’ve been treated unfairly.
“If your performance is up to par and you’re still getting fired, you know you’re not getting fired for the right reasons,” Tirabassi said.
Full Spectrum plans to celebrate the ruling with a virtual Pride parade this Saturday.