Pride Flag

In this UDK file photo, a rainbow pride flag is held up by an attendee of the first Women's March on Topeka in 2017.

Opinion

LGBTQ+ U.S. residents deserve civil rights protections. In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States got it right in passing down these civil rights. Critics of the decision believe the Court acted too broadly, including Justice Samuel Alito accusing his colleagues of legislating from the bench.

Since civil rights for LGBTQ+ U.S. residents such as employment or housing protections were not previously codified into law by many state legislatures, governors, the U.S. Congress or by the president through executive order, this is the result that opponents now have to live with.

Civil rights and equality is a by-any-means-necessary campaign. Discrimination has no place in modern society. Frankly, I’m tired and disappointed by the inaction that has occurred regarding LGBTQ+ rights in my lifetime. A cultural flashpoint of my childhood, which was even more egregious then, has still not been put to bed.

This Supreme Court decision is at least another step in the right direction.

Many advancements have been made in the name of equality, including the Court’s landmark 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges 5-4 decision that made same-sex marriage a constitutional right.

But whether it’s bathrooms, cake shops, rogue marriage license clerks or vindictive presidents, too many are still unwilling to let their fellow U.S. residents be free.

There will certainly be unintended consequences from the Court’s recent interpretation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There will be a time, place and column to discuss those consequences in the future. June is Pride Month, and let us all celebrate in the present.

Bostock v. Clayton County, the formal name of the June 15 LGBTQ+ civil rights decision, also serves as a reminder of the Court’s apolitical functionality. President Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, and some Republicans in Congress have been vocal in support of his maverick judicial decision. 

In an era of political gridlock, moments like these in the judicial branch are a breath of fresh air and a reminder there are still ways to find common ground in support of noble causes.

Elijah Southwick is a senior from Overland Park studying English and journalism.