Today, HRC praised the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for its ruling affirming that it considers employment discrimination based on sexual orientation to be prohibited under the sex discrimination provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"Discrimination has no place in America, plain and simple," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "This historic ruling by the EEOC makes clear they agree workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, much like gender identity, is illegal. While an important step, it also highlights the need for a comprehensive federal law permanently and clearly banning LGBT discrimination beyond employment to all areas of American life. Such a law would send a clear and permanent signal that discrimination against LGBT people will not be tolerated under any circumstances in this country, and we remain fully committed to making that happen."
In a 2012 decision in Macy v. Holder, the EEOC determined that discrimination based on an individual's gender identity is sex discrimination and thus constitutes a violation of the Civil Rights Act.
EEOC rulings are not binding on federal courts, however they are persuasive. This new decision continues an important trend in the development of case law. The Supreme Court has not yet ruled on this issue. HRC continues to advocate for permanent and explicit, legislated non-discrimination protections at all levels of government for LGBT people.