SAN DIEGO — A seemingly divided Supreme Court struggled Tuesday over whether a landmark civil rights law protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment, with one conservative justice wondering if the court should take heed of "massive social upheaval" that could follow a ruling in their favor.

With the court's four liberal justices likely to side with workers who were fired because of their sexual orientation or transgender status, the question in two highly anticipated cases that filled the courtroom was whether one of the court's conservatives might join them.

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California already has protections in place, but one San Diegan traveled to Washington, D.C., to be at Tuesday’s hearing.

Eddie Reynoso runs the LGBTQ Visitor Center in San Diego and is very active in the community. He traveled to nation’s capital because he want to fight for every LGBTQ citizen no matter where they live.

People on both sides of the issue protested outside the Supreme Court as the justices heard arguments as to whether Title 7, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex, applies to sexual orientation as well.

Reynoso was among 50 people from the public allowed inside the nation’s highest court. He camped out and scored a coveted spot to witness the hearing in person.

“People will sometimes pay thousands of dollars to be here so us, the general public, for us to make it happen we have to camp. We have no other choice,” he said.

Reynoso is also the executive director of the Quality Business Alliance.

California is among the more than 20 states with its own laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation, Reynoso said it is about making sure people everywhere are protected.

“I am parched. I am sunburned. I am exhausted and it is still worth it to stand up and fight,” he said.

The Supreme Court will the case out of Michigan were Aimee Stephens claims she was fired as a funeral director for coming out as transgender. Another case centers around Gerald Bostock from Georgia. He claims he was let go from his child welfare coordinator position after joining a gay softball league.

“I was fired for being gay. I lost my source of income. I even lost my medical insurance at a time I was battling prostate cancer,” he said in an interview.

Employers in both cases deny the claims.

With the court's four liberal justices likely to side with workers who were fired because of their sexual orientation or transgender status, the question in two highly anticipated cases that filled the courtroom was whether one of the court's conservatives might join them.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's first Supreme Court appointee, said there are strong arguments favoring the LGBT workers. But Gorsuch suggested that maybe Congress, not the courts, should change the law because of the upheaval that could ensue. "It's a question of judicial modesty," Gorsuch said.

Two other conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, did not squarely indicate their views, although Roberts questioned how employers with religious objections to hiring LGBT people might be affected by the outcome.

If the votes of some conservative justices seemed in doubt, the liberals' views were clear.

The cases are the court's first on LGBT rights since Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement and replacement by Kavanaugh. Kennedy was a voice for gay rights and the author of the landmark ruling in 2015 that made same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States. Kavanaugh generally is regarded as more conservative.

Reynoso remains hopeful saying despite the freedoms LGBTQ people in San Diego have, what is happening across the country cannot be ignored.

“We become so complacent in terms of what we had achieved that we forgot about everyone else, and I am afraid that is what is happening now,” he said.

A decision is expected by early summer 2020, amid the presidential election campaign.