We applaud yesterday’s Supreme Court decision upholding the rights of LGBTQ individuals in the workplace and prohibiting discrimination “on the basis of sex” under Title VII. This decision will protect exployees from workplace harassment and being fired or denied a job because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Further, as many studies have confirmed, financial abuse is one of the main reasons those in an abusive relationship are unable to leave or had to return to their partner. For the disproportionate number of LGBTQ people who experience abuse, this decision means that there will be one fewer barrier in the way of financial independence, one fewer tool of control for abusers to leverage. For LGBTQ people who face rejection or ostracization from family and community, as many Asian and Pacific Islander LGBTQ individuals do, this is an important message that all identities are valid and valued.
The Supreme Court decision is a momentous step towards equity, but there still remains much to be done until our LGBTQ community members are protected from discrimination in other areas, such as medical or mental healthcare, transportation, retail establishments, and housing, as well as innumerable daily microaggressions. Like you, we believe that the path to ending discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity must move hand in hand with the fight to dismantle systemic racism. And we recognize that just as we owe today’s victory to the tenacity of Aimee Stephens, Donald Zarda, and Gerald Bostock who brought this case to the Supreme Court, we owe the strength of this movement to the leadership of generations of queer and trans Black activists.
At API-GBV, we will be working to identify how our advocacy can be more intentionally inclusive of LGBTQ experiences, and to elevate the voices of AAPI LGBTQ survivors and Black LGBTQ leaders. We call on policy makers at the local, state, and federal levels to support equity and justice in policies that fully protect people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Although there is still a long way to go, we are hopeful about what this movement can accomplish!