March for Equality Rallies in Response to U.S. Court Case on Discrimination in the Workforce

Bianca Cacciola, Reporter

The March for Equality was held on Oct. 8 at the corner of Gosford and Stockdale Hwy sponsored by Bakersfield LGBTQ and Stonewall Democrats of Kern. The march ended at California State University Bakersfield, who is also holding Pride Week on campus.

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court case hearing for LGBTQ+ discrimination in the workforce, a march and rally were held to raise awareness to the cause.

“The case, considered one of the most consequential of the current term, will determine the length to which Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 goes to protect against workplace discrimination,” wrote Eugene Scott for The Washington Post. “The act prohibits discrimination “because of sex,” which the court has interpreted to mean no discriminating based on sexual stereotypes.”

With the goal being visibility, the activists took to all four corners of the busy intersection and chanted for their rights.

“We all need our rights,” said Destiny Wickham, a student at Nueva High School. “We need equality and we need to be able to work too. We need to be able to have our rights.”

The activists felt that it was important to have the event in Kern County, being as it is a predominantly conservative county according to Damairis Lao, a nonprofit community organizer. Some of the people who rallied identified as part of the LGBTQ+ community, while others took part in the event to support family members, friends, and the challenges the community faces in their lives.

“I want to be able to support my older brother and what he does. [Also, to support] the goals that LGBTQ+ members have been going through and how they can overcome injustices.” said Ulises Hernandez, a local volunteer for the California Alliance for Retired Americans.

A former Bakersfield College alumni and SGA member, Kirk Sunderman, held an American flag and rallied on in anticipation of the court ruling in favor of a more united nation with the freedom to live as they please.

As for the on-going court case, most remain hopeful, yet still have reserves about the U.S. legislature will make the changes desired by the LGBTQ+ community lawful for the nation.

“I’m very hesitant that they’ll vote in the way I want them to vote [in favor of the LGBTQ+ community] because of the way the court is leaning, it is more conservative. I hope they acknowledge that the rights of the individual should triumph over whatever any business or corporation desires,” said Lao.