Historic Supreme Court decisions for LGBTQ, DACA

Email from Janine Davidson, Ph.D., MSU Denver president and
Barbara Grogan, Chair of the Board of Trustees

June 18, 2020

Dear Roadrunners,

We are thrilled to write to you today about two historic U.S. Supreme Court decisions this week: Monday’s ruling that protects LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination and today’s decision upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

In the first case, the court ruled 6-3 that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with Colorado’s own Justice Neil Gorsuch writing the majority opinion. In today’s case, the justices ruled 5-4 that the current administration’s effort to rescind DACA was “arbitrary and capricious,” and thus invalid, upholding deportation protections for the 700,000-plus Dreamers who benefit from the program.

These rulings affirm two populations that Metropolitan State University of Denver has advocated for over many years. MSU Denver opened the first on-campus LGBTQ support organization in Colorado more than 25 years ago. The University was also the first in Colorado to offer a special tuition rate for undocumented students, hosted a rally for DACA students last fall and joined an amicus brief in support of DACA filed in the Supreme Court case. MSU Denver educates more undocumented students than any other college or university in Colorado.

At MSU Denver, we firmly believe in investing in the success of all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status, and will continue to do so. We recognize that Supreme Court decisions don’t guarantee equality or equity in our society and promise to continue our advocacy work for students, faculty and staff in these vulnerable groups. As our Board of Trustees emphasized in its resolution on racial injustice earlier this week, there is still much work to be done. As a University, we are committed to being true to the values of diversity and inclusion that we espouse.

For those members of the Roadrunner family who are DACA recipients, Immigrant Services will be hosting a webinar with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition on Monday at 11 a.m. with attorneys and MSU Denver trustee Marissa Molina, who is a DACA recipient herself, to discuss next steps. Those students have received an email with more details and a registration link.

We celebrate this week’s legal victories and look forward to the work ahead.


Janine Davidson, Ph.D.

Barbara Grogan
Chair of the Board of Trustees