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LGBTQ+ Polyamory

A Roundtable Discussion on the Summer’s LGBT Equal Employment Ruling

On June 15, 2020 the U.S. Supreme Court issued their ruling on R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A big case for something that many feel was common sense. The case sought to answer the question: Are members of the LGBT community covered under the Equal Employment Opportunity? The answer was yes!

I recently sat down (well, lounged in the bed is more accurate) with Lovey and Bats to talk about the big ruling this summer from the U.S. Supreme Court on LGBT Equal Employment status. We talked about what it meant to us to hear that ruling come in; what we hoped it would mean for future rulings; and of course, how it could impact the polyamorous community.

So grab your popcorn, get cuddled up, and read on for our insights on this historic ruling.

Lucie

So, thoughts in general on the ruling? Basically, it just said that LGBT employees are protected from being discriminated against based on their sex. They (the Supreme Court Justices) extended the civil rights act, specifically the “based on sex” to include gay, lesbian, and trans people. The vote was 6-3, with Justices Kavanaugh, Alito, and Thomas voting against. In their ruling, they talked about it being an interpretation based on cultural norms as opposed to an actual literal meaning of the words.

Bats

I don’t feel like that’s a great excuse.

Lovey

No, that’s a cop-out.

Lucie

That was also suggested by the representative for the funeral home that fired Aimee Stephens after she came out as trans. The representative said that the reason the 6 Justices ruled the way they did is based on cultural norms.

Bats

Yeah, that’s fair. There’s definitely some cultural hangups that still need to be worked through. I feel like this is a step in the right direction, but there’s gonna have to be other cases that come up for them to actually solidify this, and have it actually start being normalized.

Lovey

I think the idea that someone else’s sexual identity should not and does not threaten my own sexual identity needs to become kind of a normal thing too, because that’s where a lot of that is. You expose kids to a different sexual orientation and/or gender or whatever and you’re corrupting them and all of a sudden they’re just going to become… That’s not the way sexual orientation works.

Bats

And I agree with something you said we’ve been talking about like your gender and your sexual orientation and any way you identify shouldn’t even be a question on your work application. Because that’s not what actually matters.

Lucie

Yeah, they have no effect on my ability to perform the job duties.

Lovey

Now if you have a job that’s more physically demanding, like a roofing job, and you say hey can you lift 75lbs repetitively all day long, every day…

And then we kind of rabbit trailed into the Americans with Disabilities Act and Equal Employment Opportunity laws. We can save those for another day. Because there were some definite opinions on what should and shouldn’t be allowed on job applications and interviews. But it’s not really relevant to the LGBT equal employment discussion, so we shall just fast forward a bit and get back to the real reason we are here!

Bats

But anyway, I think this is a good starting point. And I hope it doesn’t stop here

Lucie

So, do you think, as it was suggested by the three dissenting Justices and the representative, that this is a ruling that’s based on the actual words? An interpretation of those words? Or if it’s based on a culture shift that now that society is seeing that this is a normal thing and is being more open and accepting?

Bats

I think it’s really funny that they’re ignoring a ton of other cultures when they say that, including some that used to live here. It’s just very um… The amount of hubris… But I think yeah, more people are aware now more than ever that people of multiple genders have been around since the beginning and so now it’s not really… well it’s just a cultural shift. No, we’re just accepting what is reality.

Lucie

We’ve finally caught up with the rest of the world!

Lovey

It’s um… I think it’s a little bit of both because it is a shift in our culture in America. Our culture has finally shifted into being open to this and understanding, so yeah it is a culture shift but that doesn’t make it any less relevant.

Bats

That doesn’t invalidate it. Because if you’re not growing and changing…

Lovey

…then you’re stagnant and you die. So yes, it’s a cultural shift but that cultural shift helped us redefine and understand what that meant to actually protect people with sexual genders and the rest of that.

Bats

Yeah, that’s a good point. Just because some of it is a cultural shift doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.

Lucie

What impact, if any, do you think this could potentially have on the poly community because that is actually what the blog is about (shameless self promotion!)

Lovey

I think it will allow us to be a little more open about being poly in work areas. But honestly I have not experienced any negative affects from being open and poly.

Lucie

Yeah, but also you’re in an industry I feel is like a lot more open. Like you guys don’t really care.

Lovey

They’re just like okay cool that works for you

Lucie

Yeah, there’s no question. I was working with kids. And it was always a thought. Well I really wanna talk about oh I’m gonna go out to see a movie with my boyfriend.

Bats

Cause you never know though. Some of those kids could be growing up in a polyamorous family, they could be polyamorous themselves, and not know that that’s a thing

Lucie

Exactly. And then like that getting back to HR who potentially could be like oh my god your like having all of this weird swinging sex! And why is it always about the sex?

Bats

Massive eyeroll. (Yes, they actually said the words.)

Lucie

Like oh my God you can’t be trusted around children because you have too much sex –

Bats

With adults!

Lucie

Like what does my sex life have to do with children?

Bats

Right? I’m not gonna talk to them about that.

Lucie

No, I’m going to see a movie. With a person I am not married to.

Bats

Still in the military if they find out your polyamorous… So any type of government job, any type of military job, a lot of higher up office jobs, it’s not a good idea still.

Lovey

So I mean this might be able to like start a shift toward being more. But I mean I think just the idea of being able to be openly trans, queer, bi, lesbian, whatever.

Bats

Just to even have it not matter.

Lovey

Yeah just to have it not matter. I think that will go a long way toward acceptance for toward poly because it’s just a lifestyle it’s not a definition of who we are, it doesn’t label us like you know weird and sex addicts and culty crap.

Lucie

Always sex addicts. (insert eyeroll)

Bats

Which is really funny because polyamorous people joke about how much not sex there is.

And off we went on another rabbit trail. It happened quite a bit. Focus people! We are here for the equal employment of LGBT members!

Lovey

I think this ruling will be good for just acceptance in general for the poly community. It might still be a little slow but…

Bats

Yeah, I don’t think it will hurt.

Lovey

I do think it will go a long way toward helping our acceptance because then even if we can’t be openly poly we can still be openly queer or nonbinary or openly whatever we are. And I think that will go a long way toward just helping us be better as a society.

Lucie

So the last question I had was what would you like to see next? If something, another case like this was brought up, what would you like to see them tackle?

Lovey

I mean right now they need to tackle some police reform.

A resounding yes from Bats and myself. (We are unapologetically for Black Lives Matter.) Followed by yet another rabbit trail about police reform and what their actual jobs as law enforcement entities entail. Which then rabbit trailed itself into congressional reform and term limits for everybody! Keeping us in line is a full time job!

Bats

I would love to see just a nationwide ban on the gay and trans public defense. I hope this new ruling helps get that ball rolling.

Lucie

I could see this having an impact on that.

Lovey

They need to stop the war on drugs.

Bats

Prison reform.

And once more down the rabbit hole. Until we landed on this gem:

Bats

As we get older we all become Giles…

Lucie

I know! Later years Giles where he just rubs his glasses and drinks his scotch!

So, there you have it! Our humble thoughts on the Supreme Court’s LGBT Equal Employment ruling. Leave your own thoughts about the ruling in the comments below! Are you excited for it? Do you agree that it is based on our changing culture around LGBTQIA+ issues? What are you hoping to see next? (I realize this is a hot button topic, so please be respectful!)