Washington, D.C. — In June, the Supreme Court’s four liberal justices were joined by two of their conservative colleagues in issuing a decision on Bostock v. Clayton County, a landmark ruling that holds that LGBTQ employees are entitled to legal protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Though the issue before the Court in the Bostock case and subsequent ruling was specifically focused on instances where LGBTQ workers are fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the potential impact of the court’s decision could be far broader than matters of employment.
As the majority opinion in Bostock states: “It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.” The implications of such framing go far beyond a single court case and have the potential to provide a critical tool to curb discrimination faced by the LGBTQ community in many other aspects of everyday life.
In a new issue brief, Sharita Gruberg, senior director for the LGBTQ Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, outlines several ways in which the Supreme Court’s ruling could affect LGBTQ people in terms of health care, education, housing, and employment. The brief also warns that opponents of LGBTQ rights could still undermine civil rights protections, highlighting the work that still needs to be done and the importance for Congress to finally pass the Equality Act, which would enshrine into law the very protections that are still at risk.
“Discrimination against LGBTQ people is widespread and has devastating consequences on millions of lives,” said Gruberg. “The Supreme Court’s decision provides a critical tool for combatting this discrimination in many areas of life. Rather than seizing this opportunity to advance equality, the Trump administration has responded by doubling down on its discriminatory agenda, illegally trying to remove protections for LGBTQ people seeking medical care and attempting to block transgender people from accessing safe shelter during a global pandemic and economic crisis. Congress must pass the Equality Act and ensure LGBTQ people and others are fully protected by our nation’s civil rights laws.”
Read the issue brief: “Beyond Bostock: The Future of LGBTQ Civil Rights” by Sharita Gruberg.
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Adam Peck at gro.ssergorpnacirema@kcepa or 914-874-7887.