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Central Florida LGBTQ+ Advocates Celebrate SCOTUS Ruling

QLatinX executive director Christopher Cuevas. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
QLatinX executive director Christopher Cuevas. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

LGBTQ+ advocates in Central Florida are celebrating the US Supreme Court ruling today barring workplace discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees. 

The 6-3 decision protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation. 

Christopher Cuevas, executive director of QLatinX, said he was "delightfully surprised" by the decision. 

“The one line that continues to stand out to me over and over is “an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.” And I feel like that one sentence alone speaks volumes," said Cuevas.

He said the work of activists like Aimee Stephens, who was fired from the funeral home where she worked after coming out as a transgender woman, has helped change hearts and minds. 

Cuevas said there’s still work to be done in securing protections for LGBTQ+ Americans in areas like healthcare and access to public accommodations. 

Orlando City commissioner Patty Sheehan, who was Central Florida’s first openly gay elected official, said it was a very significant day for LGBTQ Americans. 

“It’s weird when you can’t talk about who you are, and there was a time when I didn’t feel comfortable doing that and there was a time when I did get demoted at my job because I participated during my vacation time in the March on Washington," said Sheehan during the Orlando City Commission meeting.

"So I think this is very significant to all of us, and I really think the Supreme Court got this right.”

Sheehan said the decision is one bright spot to celebrate in 2020.