Celebrities and the LGBTQ community alike are celebrating the landmark decision from the U.S. Supreme Court that extends workplace protections to cover sexual orientation and gender identity.
Trans actress and activist Laverne Cox is overjoyed, telling Entertainment Tonight, “I am still, honestly, overwhelmed. I really can’t believe it.”
The Orange Is the New Black alum added that she was worried that the Supreme Court would vote differently. “I think because the makeup of the court is very conservative, we didn’t have high expectations of this,” Cox admitted, saying she was relieved that the justices ruled 6-3 on extending protections for the LGBTQ community.
“There are so many moments in our country where justice is not served, but in this moment, in the United States of America, the Supreme Court affirmed that firing someone from their job [for being gay or transgender is illegal],” the 48-year-old celebrated. “This Supreme Court victory is huge.”
Cox honored those who have paved the way for gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex and trans rights. “Some people did not live to see this day but they were part of it,” she noted, being sure to add that those who passed before Monday’s landmark ruling are now “affirmed.”
The Can You Keep a Secret? actress noted that, just because the Supreme Court made the workplace fairer does not mean the fight for equality is over.
“It doesn’t change the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens who are murdering us and discriminating us around race, gender and sexual orientation,” Cox warned, calling for everyone to “look inside ourselves” to bring change by challenging policies and value systems.
The SCOTUS ruling officially adds the LGBTQ community to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination against race, religion, national origin and sex.