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00:00:00
waiting into a divisive social issue the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider whether a federal law banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sex protects gay and transgender workers at issue whether gay and transgender people are covered by in nineteen sixty four Civil Rights Act Reuters correspondent Lawrence Hurley the law was enacted decades ago %HESITATION before the rise of the gay rights movement in the United States so this call the question is sort of the left to the courts to decide and they gradually been deciding in lower courts and narrow a series of cases of my reach the Supreme Court both on the gay rights issue I'm on the transgender issue records taken up three cases in total to to to decide the issue with the ruling due by the end of June next year the trump administration has argued that decades old law does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity the trump administration argument which is changing course from the position taken by the administration of president Barack Obama is that because the law does not specifically say that gay lesbian and transgender people a covered that they are not covered %HESITATION they're not saying that they can never be protected under federal law but what they're saying is that if Congress wants to cover LGBT people that they need to possible that specifically protects them trump who has strong support among evangelical Christian voters has taken aim at L. G. B. T. rights before notably restricting trans gender service members in the military and re sending protections regarding bathroom access for transgender students in public schools the worker discrimination case comes to the top court which trouble appointee Brett Kavanaugh in the place of retired justice Anthony Kennedy Kennedy there was a big supporter of gay rights %HESITATION and so his departure and his replacement by justice Brett Kavanaugh means it is a big uncertainty over hi this case will be decided because if it's a five four decision , with the conservatism majority the gay rights %HESITATION supporters could well lose this case we don't really know much about covered us position on gay rights because he hasn't had a track record or not but %HESITATION if he's in line with the other conservatives on the court it could be a tough task for the gay rights supporters the justices will hear arguments and issue a ruling in their next term which starts in October