Governor Tom Wolf released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling that laws barring sex discrimination in the workplace apply to LGBTQ+ workers:
“America has suffered for too long from unscrupulous, discriminatory employment practices that prevent certain individuals from participating fully and equally in the workforce. By recognizing that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects against the discrimination of workers who are LGBTQ+, we will all benefit from the contributions of these hardworking, skilled, talented individuals. Our workforce will be stronger, our businesses will be stronger, and our economy will be stronger.
“Unfortunately, as the tragic murder of transgender woman and LGBTQ+ rights activist Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells shows, Pennsylvanians are still not free from discrimination against sex or race. Today’s Supreme Court ruling will provide more protection inside the workplace, but discrimination remains in other areas, such as housing and public accommodations.
“This ruling is a cause for celebration, but it is also a reminder that there is still work to be done in ensuring every American and every Pennsylvanian has equality. I will continue to work with the legislature to advance comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for Pennsylvanians who are LGBTQ+, and I won’t stop until every Pennsylvanian can live and work with the same basic civil rights.”
Ciora Thomas, executive director of SisTers PGH and co-vice-chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, stated:
“We are beyond proud to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court ruling protecting LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination in America. It is long overdue, and it is the result of years of activism and sacrifice by so many.
“It is important to remember in this much needed time of joy and celebration that there is still so much work to be done. Discrimination and violence against LGBTQ+ people, especially Black trans women, is all too present in our society, from the streets to the criminal justice system. It is a systemic problem, and it will require a systemic response.
“This is an all-hands-on-deck moment in America. Racism and inequality are being challenged like never before, and we must all keep fighting and demanding real change, especially at the local level. Right here in Pittsburgh, racial injustice permeates the soil and steel of our communities, and it is past time for these wrongs to not only be addressed, but righted. And there is everything to gain by welcoming gender diversity and inclusion into these discussions, and by ensuring Black, trans, and nonbinary people are secure and able to thrive.
“With Juneteenth right around the corner, and with the movement for justice stronger than ever, now is the time to keep the foot on the pedal and remember that All Black Lives Matter.”