Supreme Court Urged Not to Roll Back Workplace Protections for LGBTQ People

July 3, 2019 10:15 am

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WASHINGTON – Thousands of businesses, women CEOs and women’s rights organizations, civil rights organizations, current and former elected officials, faith leaders, scholars and others joined together to tell the Supreme Court not to roll back civil rights protections for LGBTQ people. The friend-of-the-court briefs—49 in all—were filed today in a trio of cases asking whether firing someone for being LGBTQ will continue to be an unlawful form of sex discrimination. The ACLU is counsel in the case of Aimee Stephens, who was fired for being transgender, and co-counsel in the case of Don Zarda, who was fired for being gay.

“Like the majority of Americans, the individuals and entities that signed these powerful briefs in support of LGBTQ people agree that it is both wrong and unlawful to fire someone for being LGBTQ. These briefs show that if the court rules against LGBTQ people, everyone who has been protected from discrimination on the basis of sex will be put in harm’s way,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project and counsel in the cases of Aimee Stephens and Don Zarda.

The briefs include:

  • 151 Members of Congress, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Congressman David Cicilline, lead sponsor of the Equality Act.
  • More than 100 states, cities and counties and mayors, including 66 cities and counties, and 28 mayors including Iowa City, Travis County, TX and Cuyahoga County, OH
  • 206 businesses including ACLU partners Ben & Jerry’s and Lyft.
  • More than 750 religious organizations and faith leaders.
  • More than 40 civil rights organizations discussing the need for LGBTQ people of color to remain protected in the workplace.
  • More than 37 Republicans, former Republicans, and political conservatives including a former Republican National Committee Chair, at least 9 former Republican members of Congress, and former White House officials.
  • People who have experienced discrimination in the workplace, including transgender people, lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and cisgender women who are not LGBTQ.
  • Former chairs and commissioners of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Secretaries of Education, a Deputy Attorney General, and other former executive branch officials and other federal agencies.
  • Several former Solicitors General from multiple administrations.
  • The American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, and more than a dozen national medical organizations agree that discrimination at work harms the health of LGBTQ people.
  • The National Education Association and the National School Board Association.
  • The AFLCIO, SEIU, and International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
  • The American Bar Association.

Oral arguments in the cases will be held on October 8, 2019.

The briefs are available online here:

Analysis of the briefs from Senior Staff Attorney Ria Tabacco Mar is available here:

This statement is online here:

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