By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
A new ruling Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court on gay rights is imposing new restrictions on Arizona employers that neither the state legislature nor state courts were willing to do.
The 6-3 decision by the high court effectively puts a provision into federal law that says people who contend they were fired the opportunity to sue under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which bars employers from discriminating based on sex.
“Homosexuality and transgender status are inextricably bound up with sex,” the justices said.
The move follows decades of unsuccessful efforts by some legislators to add sexual orientation and gender identification to existing laws that now prohibit discrimination in public accommodation and employment.
In effect, Monday’s court ruling catches the rest of the state up to cities like Tucson, Phoenix, Tempe and Flagstaff whose anti-discrimination laws already cover sexual orientation. But the high court decision covers only employment discrimination.