LOS ANGELES – Today, a nationwide coalition led by the office of City Attorney Mike Feuer and the City of New York urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reaffirm the principle that all LGBTQ people in the United States should have the opportunity to participate in the workplace free from discrimination. In a brief filed in the Court today, 66 cities and counties as well as 28 mayors across the United States joined the City Attorney in supporting the right of LGBTQ people to be protected from workplace discrimination under federal law’s Title VII.
"Again we’re taking a stand for LGBTQ equality and against discrimination." said Mike Feuer, L.A. City Attorney. "No one should fear losing their livelihood because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Court should make it emphatically clear that our laws ensure equal treatment for all people."
The brief was filed in three consolidated cases that will be decided by the Supreme Court next year. In each case, an LGBTQ person was terminated from their employment on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, Gerald Bostock was fired from his position as a child welfare services coordinator in Clayton County Georgia after serving in the position for 10 years and in Altitude Express v. Zarda, Donald Zarda was terminated from his position as a skydiving instructor - each allegedly based on their sexual orientation. In R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman was terminated from her position based on her gender identity.
In these three cases, the Supreme Court will decide whether discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity constitutes prohibited employment discrimination “because of sex” and thus should be protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.
The cities, counties, and mayors joining Los Angeles and New York in their amicus brief strongly support this position arguing that based on their local experience, prohibiting all forms of sex-based discrimination benefits the entire community. Further, workplace discrimination inflicts deep economic wounds on its victims, imperiling access to housing, healthcare and other basic needs, which the local governments must then provide.