June 15 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal civil rights law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers from being fired based on their orientation.
The 6-3 vote is a significant victory for LGBT Americans and advocates. The ruling says Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers LGBT workers from employment discrimination.
Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority, saying Title VII makes it illegal to discriminate based on a person's sex and the landmark law covers gay and transgender Americans.
The justices ruled that sexual orientation and transgender status applies in that description.
"An individual's homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions," Gorsuch wrote in the opinion. "That's because it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.
"A statutory violation occurs if an employer intentionally relies in part on an individual employee's sex when deciding to discharge the employee," it adds. "Because discrimination on the basis of homosexuality or transgender status requires an employer to intentionally treat individual employees differently because of their sex, an employer who intentionally penalizes an employee for being homosexual or transgender also violates Title VII. There is no escaping the role intent plays."
The Trump administration had asked the high court to rule that Title VII does not cover LGBT Americans, and doing so was not the original intent of lawmakers.