PHOENIX - On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling that has members of the LGBTQ+ community celebrating.
The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against LGBT workers.
"An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids," Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court.
The outcome is expected to have a big impact for the estimated 8.1 million LGBT workers across the country because most states don't protect them from workplace discrimination. An estimated 11.3 million LGBT people live in the U.S., according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA law school.
Arizonans react to ruling
"The world needed a change because there is so much hate out in the world, and it's unfortunate that people have felt not comfortable with who they are and who they love. Shouldn't change how their job treats them," said Samantha Henson. who supports the ruling.
Henson says she recently came out, and is grateful to those who have been fighting for decades so people like her can be who they are without fear.
"We want to make sure, as an organization, that we never go back to a time when people felt like they had to hide who they were in order to feel safe at work," said Bridget Sharpe with Human Rights Campaign in Arizona.
Sharpe says they too are celebrating the Supreme Court decision, and that they have been fighting for in the courts for more than 20 years.
"They can go to bed tonight feeling a little safer knowing that because of who they are, their job is protected," said Sharpe.
Yet, Sharpe says there is still much work to be done towards equality.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report