Laverne Cox Admits She Was ‘Shocked’ By Landmark Supreme Court LGBT Ruling: ‘It’s A Beautiful Thing’

Laverne Cox couldn't believe it when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of protecting LGBTQ employees from discrimination in the workplace. She was overjoyed, she said on 'The View', calling it a 'beautiful thing.'

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Laverne Cox, like many, was “utterly shocked” when she found out that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of protecting LGBTQ workers‘ rights. “I was shocked, to be perfectly honest,” she admitted on the June 18 episode of The View. But, the Orange Is The New Black star, 48, was obviously delighted. “It’s a really beautiful thing that in the United States of America, we can affirm once more that it should be illegal to fire someone from their job simply for being who they are,” the transgender actress and activist told the co-hosts.

In a historic 6-3 decision on June 15, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination “because of sex,” also covers sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBTQ employees are now protected from discrimination in the workplace by federal law. The ruling comes halfway through Pride month. Shockingly, Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump-era appointee to the court, delivered the opinion.

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” Gorsuch wrote for the majority. “It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox (REX/Shutterstock)

“Because of the conservative makeup of the court, we were not optimistic… but it’s a landmark ruling for LGBTQ+ folks, and especially for trans folks,” Laverne said on The View. She stressed that the fight for equality isn’t over, though. One week before the ruling, the Trump administration announced they were rolling back healthcare coverage for transgender people. “Discriminating against us in healthcare should also be illegal,” she said, adding that discrimination in public housing should be illegal, as well.

“I would like to remind people that just because we have policies in place to protect folks, it doesn’t mean that the hearts and minds of our citizens have changed,” Laverne said. Last week, two transgender women were murdered. A trans man was killed by police in Tallahassee, Florida. Public policy doesn’t change hearts and minds. We have to do that work ourselves, with our friends, with our communities, with our families, and in the media.”