June 2019 Church & State Magazine - June 2019

Supreme Court Accepts LGBTQ Employment Cases

  Rob Boston

The U.S. Supreme Court on April 22 accepted three major cases that deal with the employment rights of LGBTQ Americans.

Two of the cases concern individuals who were fired from their jobs for being gay. The third was brought by a transgender woman who was fired from her position at a funeral home after she refused to dress as a man.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars employment discrimination on the basis of sex. The high court will decide whether this includes sexual orientation and gender identity. 

“Much of the bias that LGBTQ people experience on a daily basis is rooted in fundamentalist views of religion,” said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United, in a media statement. “But in our richly diverse nation, our shared secular laws are what must continue to govern – without special privileges or exceptions for some religious groups.

The cases are Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., and Altitude Express v. Zarda, which the court consolidated for joint argument, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC. They will be argued during the high court’s 2019-2020 term, which will begin in October.

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