In a time when the avalanche of bad news seems never ending, it is a joy to celebrate today’s historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The 6-3 decision amends Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and extends these job protections nationwide. After more than 40 years of failed efforts to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in Congress, it is finally illegal in all 50 states to fire someone solely for being LGBTQ.

This landmark ruling is monumental, but there is still much to do before we achieve full equality. Transgender women of color face horrific levels of violence. LGBTQ youth have disproportionately high levels of suicide and homelessness. And it remains illegal to be LGBTQ in nearly 70 nations.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences strives to be a place where every Hokie can learn about their experience in the world in a profound way. That is why we will soon be launching a new LGBTQ+ Studies minor and why we are partnering with the Division of Student Affairs on plans to establish an LGBTQ+ living-learning community.

Today’s victory makes this Pride Month an especially celebratory one.

Laura Belmonte
College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences