By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Supreme Court is hearing some cases that could have a major impact on LGBTQ rights. Those cases could determine if it is legal under federal law to fire an employee based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

So what does this mean for Minnesotans?

READ MORE: Family Mourns 'Loving' And 'Gentle' St. Paul Man After Fatal Hit-And-Run

This shouldn’t have much of an effect on Minnesotans, because state law, the 1993 Human Rights Act, protects people from being discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation.

It’s not so clear on the federal level and in states without similar laws.

READ MORE: Minnesota Gophers Beat Maryland 34-16

People rallied on both sides of the issue in Washington. One of the cases the Supreme Court is hearing is a Georgia man who says he was fired as a child welfare services coordinator after joining a gay softball league.

There’s also the case of Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman who was fired from a Michigan funeral home after announcing she was transitioning. Her employer says she was not following company dress code,

MORE NEWS: 5 People Injured In House Explosion In Cambridge

Minnesota does have protection from discrimination in cases like this. According to the Human Rights Commission, Wisconsin prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but not gender identity. A Supreme Court decision isn’t expected until next Spring.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield