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Protesters surround the Supreme Court as justices hear civil rights cases

Actress Laverne Cox greets Aimee Stephens, who was fired from her job at a funeral home when she announced her transition. Her former employers say they are allowed to fire trans people because federal law doesn't protect them.
Actress Laverne Cox greets Aimee Stephens, who was fired from her job at a funeral home when she announced her transition. Her former employers say they are allowed to fire trans people because federal law doesn't protect them. Photo: Screenshot/Twitter/ACLU of Michigan

Activists are rallying outside in D.C. as the Supreme Court considers three cases about LGBTQ rights in the workplace today.

Two cases about discrimination against gay people – Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda – and one case about discrimination against transgender people – R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – will be argued in front of the high court today.

Related: Will the conservative majority Supreme Court abandon Anthony Kennedy’s support for equality?

At stake is whether courts should interpret the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s ban on discrimination “because of sex” as a ban on discrimination against LGBTQ people. Some lower courts have already ruled in favor of this reading of the act while others have ruled against it.

The Supreme Court’s decisions in these cases could either end or expand one of the only paths to justice available to LGBTQ people who face discrimination at work in the 29 states that don’t ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The ACLU and several other groups have organized a Protect LGBTQ Workers Rally today, and protestors are already out in front of the Supreme Court.

There are reports that the area in front of the Supreme Court was cleared due to a “suspicious package.”

Anti-LGBTQ forces told their followers to pray against equality.

SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas may not be in court tomorrow. He can still rule against LGBTQ rights.

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