Supreme Court weighing whether or not to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people in the workplace
For Immediate Release
October 8, 2019
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 3330
(Washington, DC) – Today, the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments on three cases: R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Aimee Stephens; Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda; and Bostock v. Clayton County. Together, the outcomes of these cases will determine whether it is legal in this country to fire an employee because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Samantha Dercher, SIECUS’ Federal Policy Director, released the following statement in response:
“The consequences of how the Court will ultimately rule on today’s cases could not be graver–especially for our queer and transgender friends, family, and colleagues. A ruling against the plaintiffs would tear apart two decades of precedent–precedent that confirms that Title VII, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in employment, includes protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
These cases are about more than jobs. They will signal a clear message from our nation’s highest court. In their decisions on these cases, the Justices will definitively tell us whether or not they believe LGBTQ people deserve the same legal protections from discrimination as their cisgender, heterosexual peers. We urge the Supreme Court to follow precedent and confirm employers cannot arbitrarily discriminate against anyone because of who they love or how they express their gender.
At SIECUS, we work to advance sex education that affirms queer and trans young people so that they can see themselves reflected and valued in the lessons they learn at school. We know that this can have life-saving and life-changing benefits–not only for LGBTQ students, but for all students, regardless of how they identify. Teaching young people that they are all equal will become exponentially more difficult if our country’s most powerful court tells them the opposite.
But we will not stop fighting the Trump administration–and the right wing extremists they’ve stacked our courts with–in their efforts to eviscerate our civil rights laws and increase discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. And regardless of how this Court ultimately rules, we will keep reminding our young people–especially our queer youth–that they matter.”
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sex education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS asserts that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the rights of all people to accurate information, comprehensive sexuality education, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.