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LGBTQ advocates celebrate SCOTUS landmark ruling

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 18:57:44-04

The United States Supreme Court dealt a major victory for LGBTQ rights, prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status.

"I also think that the Supreme Court has sent a clear message to the LGBTQ community that you really count and you really matter," said Tony Snell.

Snell was ecstatic to learn about the ruling. He is familiar with stories of discrimination as Vice-Chair with the City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission and board member with the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.

"We do know of people that faced discrimination in all areas including employment, but they’re reluctant to come out because they’re unsure where to find that remedy. They’re unsure of the adjudication," said Snell.

But he believes the landmark ruling will empower people in the LGBTQ community.

"I would tell people out there that this is the time if you feel that you’ve been discriminated against that you’ve been wrong or hurt it is time to come forward," Snell added.

"I know many of us in the community running organizations have been preparing for a different outcome so this gave me hope there’s some light out there," said Jason Rae, President and CEO of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

In 1982, Wisconsin led the way in protecting against sexual orientation discrimination.
But Rae says it was not inclusive of gender identity and expression, and Monday's ruling brings needed change.

"This not only has a huge impact on the state to make sure there’s a uniform set of protection saying LGBTQ people cannot be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, but it applies to the entire country. No longer can you’ll be married on a Friday and fired on Monday for who you love and who you are," said Rae.

Both advocates agree the Supreme Court's historic ruling is worth celebrating, but it is only one piece towards reaching full equality.

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