SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark ruling Monday, voting 6-3 that the "Civil Rights Act of 1964" covers gay and transgender workers.
The White House had argued that the Civil Rights Act did not extend to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation.
The ruling is expected to have a major impact on an estimated 8.1 million workers in the U.S.A.
Cody Ingle and Boots Among Trees are both on the Sioux Falls Pride Board of Directors, they say today is a big step forward for equality and equity across the nation, including locally.
Both Ingle and Trees say seeing the ruling come down from a conservative court was a bit of a surprise.
"It's really exciting to see the justices uphold this," Ingle said. "Reading their opinions, seeing their thoughts on it has been really encouraging."
Many states had previously not protected LGBT workers from workplace discrimination, now they will be protected federally.
"These protections really do create a safety network for a lot of the people in South Dakota," Boots Among Trees said.
The ruling specifically targets Title VII, which bars job discrimination because of sex, and now encompasses bias against LGBT workers.
"If you've never had to experience this kind of discrimination before, it really is an attack, not only just on yourself as a person, but on your soul," Boots Among Trees said.
Both Ingles and Boots Among Trees agree, hoping this ruling can open up doors to future positive rulings regarding the LGBT community.