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Civil Rights Groups Urge Supreme Court to Protect LGBTQ Workers
2019-07-03

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WASHINGTON — The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and 57 other civil rights organizations filed a "friend of the court" brieftoday in a trio of cases before the Supreme Court. These combined cases, which the Court will consider next term, examine whether employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity are covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"Outlawing job discrimination based on LGBTQ status is fully consistent with Title VII's long history of anti-discrimination achievements, as well as the statutory text that has made those successes possible," the groups write in the brief. "If Title VII does not bar LGBTQ discrimination, that will leave many LGBTQ people of color vulnerable to workplace discrimination — an outcome contrary to Congress' paramount goal of ensuring equal access to employment opportunities for minorities."

"There are nearly two million LGBTQ people of color in America's workforce. They are far more likely to suffer discrimination than their white counterparts. If Title VII is not construed according to its plain text so that it covers LGBTQ discrimination, such discrimination would go unchecked by federal law, and biased employers would have a convenient pretext for discriminating against LGBTQ persons of color. It is thus impossible to carve out LGBTQ discrimination from Title VII's ambit without inflicting severe harm on countless employees of color," the groups state.

The three cases before the Court are Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda.

The amicus brief is available here, and the participating organizations are:

Advocates for Youth

African American Ministers In Action

Alaska Public Interest Research Group ( AkPIRG )

American Association for Justice

American Association of University Professors

American Humanist Association

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Andrew Goodman Foundation

Anti-Defamation League

Arab American Institute

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice

Campaign for Accountability

Center for Popular Democracy

CenterLink

Color Of Change

CREDO Mobile, Inc.

Equal Justice Society

Equal Rights Advocates

Fair Count, Inc.

Family Values @ Work

Feminist Majority Foundation

In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda

Japanese American Citizens League

Justice in Aging

LATINOJUSTICE PRLDEF

League of Women Voters of the United States

Matthew Shepard Foundation

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

National Action Network

National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

National Bar Association

National Center for Youth Law

National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development ( National CAPACD )

National Consumer Law Center

National Council on Independent Living

National Crittenton

National Domestic Workers Alliance

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Health Law Program

National Hispanic Media Coalition

National Housing Law Project

National LGBTQ Task Force

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance

National Urban League, Inc.

National Workrights Institute

New Voices for Reproductive Justice

People For the American Way Foundation

PolicyLink

Public Counsel

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

The Hispanic National Bar Association

The Sikh Coalition

The Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs

Treatment Action Group ( TAG )

URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity

The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 55th year, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to "Move America Toward Justice." The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org .

—From a press release


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