Aimee Stephens’ legacy lives on: Transgender advocates call Supreme Court decision a “ray of hope”

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(WLNS)– The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment.

“In all the strife and discord that’s been going on in the world today and with the recent reversals they had for transgender in healthcare… this ruling was kind of like a ray of hope,” Arleta Greer, Vice President of Free Mom Hugs Michigan said.

The organization advocates for equality for the LGBTQ+ community. Greer said the decision gave her a renewed sense of energy.

“It shows that it is working people are learning,” she said adding, “It was fantastic. I was very much happy dancing.”

Jill Lash, President of the organization echoed Greer’s reaction.

“Every hard conversation we have is just a tiny piece and when we can put those together you know, that’s what today was,” Lash said.

Passing away just a month ago, Stephens isn’t here to witness the decision, but Lash and Greer say her legacy will live on and they’ll keep going for her.

“Even though she’s not here, that passes on to the next person who now has the right to be their authentic self… to be comfortable in their own skin and to live as they truly are on the inside,” Greer said. “She has given this to the entire community. Not only for Michigan but the entire nation… and that’s huge.”

While Stephen’s attorney, Jay Kaplan, agrees that this is a huge victory for the LGBT community, he said there is still work to be done.

“We still do need to amend our state’s civil rights law to put those explicit words ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ in the statute so we don’t have to rely on court interpretations as to whether or not LGBT people are entitled to the same dignity and fairness that other people,” Kaplan said.

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