The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether employment discrimination laws apply to the LGBTQ community. The Court has accepted three cases including that of Aimee Stephens, who was fired from a Michigan funeral home as she began living openly as a female; and Gerald Lynn Bostock, who worked as a child-welfare services coordinator in the state of Georgia and was fired after joining a gay softball league.
The issue is whether Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, protects LGBTQ people from job discrimination. Title VII does not specifically mention sexual orientation or transgender status, but federal appeals courts in several states have ruled recently that LGBTQ employees are entitled to protection from discrimination. The Court will hear the cases in October of this year, with a decision likely to be announced by June 2020.
In 30 states, LGBTQ people are at risk of being fired, refused housing or denied services simply because of who they are. Today, if an LGBTQ person were to drive from Maine to California, their rights would literally change dozens of times. The Equality Act would provide national, consistent non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in all aspects of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, federally funded programs, public spaces, and jury service. It would amend current civil right laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community and strengthen non-discrimination protections for women and other minorities.