As many of you have no doubt already heard, today, the Supreme Court held by a 6-3 vote that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits an employer from discriminating against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status. The statute explicitly bars such discrimination on the basis of “sex,” and the Court found it “clear” that where “an employer . . . fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender . . . [s]ex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
This is a monumental and historic decision. It will help ensure that our co-workers, friends, family members, and communities are not subject to discrimination in the workplace simply because they seek to live life as their authentic selves. Even beyond the employment context, the decision could impact the interpretation and application of many other federal statutes that afford protections, or bar discrimination, on the basis of sex.
This victory was made possible by countless individuals who, over the course of decades, have laid the groundwork for this decision. This includes Donald Zarda and Aimee Stephens, both of whom lent their names and stories to this litigation, and both of whom passed away before being able to see the culmination of their work. They have, however, left a tremendous legacy that will positively impact the LGBTQIA+ community going forward.
The outcome in Bostock v. Clayton County is one that many of us hardly dared to hope for. It became a reality through the persistent, collective effort of LGBTQIA+ individuals and our staunch allies. The DOJ Pride Board sends its congratulations and gratitude to all those involved with the litigation. We are truly thrilled with the Supreme Court’s decision and the meaningful impact it will have on our lives.