"Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit," Gorsuch wrote.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote one dissenting opinion, joined by Justice Thomas.
"There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation," Alito wrote. The law does not mention "sexual orientation" or "gender identity," he said, and Congress for decades has considered legislation to add that language to Title VII but has not yet done so.
"But the Court is not deterred by these constitutional niceties," he wrote. "Usurping the constitutional authority of the other branches, the Court has essentially taken H.R.5's provision on employment discrimination and issued it under the guise of statutory interpretation. A more brazen abuse of our authority to interpret statutes is hard to recall."
Justice Kavanaugh, writing his own dissent, stated that "[u]nder the Constitution's separation of powers, the responsibility to amend Title VII belongs to Congress and the President in the legislative process, not to this Court."
Gorsuch, writing for the Court's majority, acknowledged religious freedom concerns for employers in the Court's decision. Religious organizations and employers do have certain protections from discrimination lawsuits under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), he wrote.
However, the religious freedom question would be a matter of future consideration since "none of the employers before us today represent in this Court that compliance with Title VII will infringe their own religious liberties in any way," he wrote.
Matt Hadro was the political editor at Catholic News Agency through October 2021. He previously worked as CNA senior D.C. correspondent and as a press secretary for U.S. Congressman Chris Smith.