Civil Rights Groups Urge Supreme Court to Protect LGBTQ Workers

Contact: Shin Inouye, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, [email protected], 202.869.0398
Reynolds Graves, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, [email protected], 202.662.8375

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” brief today 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
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
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
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