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 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.
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