CTA Members Celebrate Historic Supreme Court Ruling for LGBTQ+ Rights

SCOTUS Decision Grants Long-Denied Employment Equality

BURLINGAME—The California Teachers Association applauds today’s landmark Supreme Court decision effectively ending a major aspect of employment discrimination against members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Plus (LGBTQ+) community. The 6-3 ruling prohibits the firing of workers over their sexual orientation.

“This is a truly wonderful day for equality, for the LGBTQ+ community, and for workers everywhere. This is an affirmation of our values as a nation, and for the work that the California Teachers Association began decades ago and that we continue even now more than ever. In the shadow of other current events, and as we all move forward during these sad and tumultuous weeks and continue to fight for true equality for all, let’s all savor and celebrate this one important and long-time-coming victory.”

-E. Toby Boyd, CTA President

CTA’s history of standing up for the LGBTQ+ community runs deep and strong; the organization led the 1978 fight against the Briggs Initiative (Proposition 6), which would have banned gays, lesbians, and their supporters from teaching in California public schools. CTA was the single largest opponent against Proposition 8, which tried to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.

The union and its local chapters have opposed hundreds of instances of individual discrimination against gay, lesbian, and transgender educators. CTA has supported the rights and protected the safety of LGBTQ+ students in our classrooms, and strongly backed the FAIR Education act which ensures that the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community are included in school curriculum. CTA also offers scholarships and grants that focus on LGBTQ+ safety in schools.

Today’s SCOTUS decision expands the scope of the Federal Title VII prohibition against discrimination based on sex, arguing the text as written clearly applies to the LGBTQ+ community. The Court combined three cases involving the firing of gay or transgender employees in reaching its decision. Sadly, two of the three original plaintiffs did not live to see today’s victory.

“Forty-two years ago, CTA led the charge against Proposition 6, helping ensure that no working educator in California would be fired because of their sexual orientation. All these decades later, our country now extends that same protection and these long-held CTA values to workers in all fields, everywhere,” said Boyd. “It took a long time, but the struggle was worth it. As Dr. King once observed, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’”

CTA resources on social justice and support for LGBTQ+ students and educators are available here.


The 310,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3-million-member National Education Association.