I write today to commend two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have direct implications for members of our university community.
On Monday, the court ruled that the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination in employment also bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The court’s ruling upholds rights and protections in the workplace for LGBTQ individuals, a landmark affirmation that LGBTQ people deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and equality. While recognizing that there is still much work to be done, I applaud the court’s just decision and join the Tufts LGBTQ community in celebrating this milestone in the long fight for LGBTQ human and legal rights.
On Thursday, the court blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects from deportation several hundred thousand immigrants. Tufts, which has strongly opposed the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle the program, is proud to have students with undocumented status as part of our community, some of whom have qualified for DACA status and the first of whom graduated this May. They have shown remarkable resilience, determination, and commitment, and are entitled to breathe a sigh of relief—albeit only a momentary one. The court’s ruling blocked the Trump administration’s efforts on procedural grounds, meaning that our continued vigilance is needed to protect the program from potential future efforts to eliminate it. We are committed to ensuring that our students with DACA status—as well as other students with undocumented status—are able to live and learn with the comfort of knowing they are welcome, safe, and supported.
The occasion of these two rulings provides an opportunity to affirm that Tufts supports all members of our community. At a time when we as a university community and nation are confronting distressing and challenging issues of racism, inequity, and injustice, these hard- and long-fought court victories provide hope that we can make progress as a society when we work to promote justice for those who are systemically denied it.