Across the United States, including in California, many people have worked hard over many years to advance the rights of others. Throughout history, there have been a wide range of groups of people who have experienced discrimination for one reason or another. This may be due to race, national origin, age or other factors. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed in an effort to prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on a variety of factors. Sex was one of those factors.

As explained by Salon, the provision outlining that sex discrimination was illegal has been the subject of much debate over the years. Debates have often centered around what the term “sex” actually refers to. In 1976, it was deemed that discrimination based on pregnancy was not included in this definition but in 1989, a decision expanded the definition to include of gender conformity.

Today, the nation waits as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether or not sexual orientation or gender identity are part of the definition of “sex” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Some argue that the law should be reviewed in essentially a literal manner while others put forth the notion that the broader intent of the original law should be evaluated.

The cases under review by the court include one brought forth by a transgender employee and two cases by gay men. Forbes notes that a decision about the legal definition of sex may come at any time, however, it is possible that no decision will be provided until the spring or summer of next year.