Human Rights Campaign Calls On States To Implement Bostock Decision

by Wyatt Ronan

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization —following President Biden’s historic Day One Executive Order, calls upon states lacking LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws to follow suit by implementing the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision to state sex nondiscrimination laws. State civil rights or human rights commissions should begin accepting complaints in accordance with Bostock under state sex nondiscrimation laws, and attorneys general, where appropriate, should issue guidance specific in accordance with individual state mechanisms.

On Day One of his presidency, President Biden issued a historic, wide-ranging Executive Order enforcing the implementation of the Bostock decision, instructing his agencies to immediately begin preparation to protect LGBTQ people under existing civil rights laws. Now, it’s time for states to do the same. While implementation of Bostock on the federal level is a significant step forward, LGBTQ people must also have access to protections under state laws. State civil or human rights commissions and state attorneys general can play an important role by implementing the core holding of the Supreme Court decision to state nondiscrimination laws. The fundamental rights, safety, prosperity, and the very lives of LGBTQ Americans are at stake, and we urge every state to join the right side of history.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

“After years of fighting against every effort by Donald Trump to undermine LGBTQ protections, we now have bold action by the Biden Administration and a landmark Supreme Court decision making it very clear that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity will not stand in this country. I am proud that Massachusetts law has long included these protections, and urge all states do the same. The world won’t come crashing down when everyone is welcomed and affirmed by their government.”

Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General

“I commend the Biden Administration for this historic step and call on fellow Attorneys General to carry out the Supreme Court’s decision. Three years ago Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Commission made clear that sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are protected by existing law that prohibits discrimination based on sex. We need to continue strengthening our municipal and state laws to ensure that everyone in Pennsylvania – and across the country – has the freedom and security to express who they are, and love who they were born to love.”

Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania Attorney General

"I have long said that my mission as Nevada's attorney general is to help and protect Nevada families. Regardless of your sex, gender, or identity, you're Nevada family. President Biden sent a strong message to Americans when he signed his first Executive Order calling on states to implement the Supreme Court's Bostock decision protecting our LGBTQ+ community from discrimination. Every member of Nevada's communities is family, and I am proud to advocate for their equal protections under the law."

Aaron D. Ford, Nevada Attorney General

On June 15th, 2020 in a landmark ruling in the consolidated cases of Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express v. Zarda and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a form of prohibited sex discrimination. In July 2020, HRC spearheaded a letter along with other leading LGBTQ rights organizations to call on the Department of Justice to not delay the application of the law and fully enforce the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision. However, the Trump Justice Department failed to adequately instruct the federal government to implement the ruling, leading to dangerous misinterpretations like the one the Department of Education released last week and that was issued by the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division on Sunday.

On Wednesday, January 20th, 2021, President Joe Biden included the implementation of Bostock in a series of Day One Executive Orders that also included executive actions.Today, 22 states plus the District of Columbia have laws that explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations. State attorneys general and state civil or human rights commissions have also implemented the Bostock decision to state civil rights laws across the country—particularly in states that lack sexual orientation and gender identity laws, including in Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. To learn more about state laws impacting the LGBTQ community please see the State Equality Index.

Contact Us

To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email