The Supreme Court just handed a massive win for the LGBTQ+ community ... after ruling federal law protects gay and transgender people from workplace discrimination.
The Justices announced the landmark ruling Monday morning, and it's really significant. The court ruled the 1964 Civil Rights Act -- which prohibits discrimination, among other things, based on race, sex, national origin -- also applies to sexual orientation and gender discrimination.
What's more ... the vote was 6-3, and Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, wrote the majority opinion.
Gorsuch wrote ... "Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. 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. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids."
Translation -- by prohibiting sex discrimination, the law also covers sexual orientation.
The Supreme Court combined 2 cases ... a man in Clayton County, GA who claimed he was fired as a social worker after he became more open about being gay, and a man fired as a skydiving instructor.
The transgender case involved Aimee Stephens, who was fired after telling the owners at the funeral home she worked at about her gender transition. She died in May.
The Trump administration sided with employers, despite the fact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided in 2015 gay and transgender individuals were federally protected. This has been a hot-button issue for years because many lower courts have held that sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination are not included in the protections under the Civil Rights Act.
Now, the justices have ruled that these types of discrimination ARE sex discrimination, so gay and transgender people are protected.
Just last week the Trump administration announced it would erase protections for transgender patients seeking medical care, by narrowing the legal definition of sex discrimination so as not to include transgender people -- a big departure from the Obamaadministration. Unclear at this point if the SCOTUS ruling would torpedo Trump's effort.
The Supreme Court's ruling comes just 1 day after thousands held rallies in L.A. and New York calling for LGBTQ+ rights and racial justice. Protesters painted a huge sign in Hollywood that read "All Black Lives Matter" before it was removed early Monday morning.