Bostock: A Welcome Respite in an Ongoing Battle
Attorney at Law Magazine
Civil Rights Act, LGBTQ, sex discrimination, sexual orientation, gender identity, employment
Bostock held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's proscription against sex discrimination also encompasses claims of sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. Green lauded the Court's opinion for several reasons. Prior to Bostock, LGBTQ individuals grappling with workplace discrimination faced a patchwork of protections that depended on geographic location. Most states, like Ohio, do not protect employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Bostock provides employees such protection as long as they work for an employer that falls within the scope of Title VII. Green also notes the significance of Bostock in light of Obergefell v. Hodges, which barred states from prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying. Bostock makes Obergefell even more meaningful because employees no longer have to fear being fired for exercising their constitutional right to marry.
While Bostock is momentous, Green explains that because the decision is limited to employment, LGBTQ individuals continue to lack important protections in other areas, such as public accommodations. Bostock also leaves several other issues unresolved. For these and other reasons, Green argues that advocates should continue to push for legislation at the federal and state levels, specifically addressing issues of importance to LGBTQ individuals.
Green, Matthew W. Jr., "Bostock: A Welcome Respite in an Ongoing Battle" (2020). Law Faculty Articles and Essays. 1127.