ANCHORAGE – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers can’t unfairly fire or otherwise discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in the workplace. This decision alleviates the anxiety among gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer or transgender employees that they could be fired from their job — thereby losing their health care and the ability to take care of themselves and their family — just because of who they are. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court has taken action to prevent life-threatening harm for millions of Americans.
This will go a long way towards affirming legal protections in education, housing, credit and health care as well. But there are still critical gaps in our nondiscrimination laws. At the federal level, we need Congress to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in public accommodations, federal programs, and more, by passing the Equality Act.
Only 22 states explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It is well past time for Alaska to join them. More than three-quarters of Alaskans support LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in our state laws. Alaska’s lawmakers need to pass statewide non-discrimination protections now.