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For the American Bar Association, Litigation Team Filed Amicus in Support of LGBTQ Worker Rights in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia

Tags: Pro Bono

On Monday, in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court held – in a landmark 6-3 ruling – that Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Representing the American Bar Association (ABA), Ropes & Gray filed an amicus curiae brief in support of LGBTQ workers. In its brief, the ABA urged the justices to recognize that the prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against employment discrimination – because of sex – “encompasses discrimination against persons whose sexual orientation or transgender status diverges from the characteristics society ascribes to them on the basis of sex.” Ropes & Gray’s amicus asked the Court to apply the “straightforward, unqualified statutory text” of Title VII to find in favor of the LGBTQ employees. The filing added that, in passing Title VII, “Congress made the simple but momentous announcement that sex, race, religion, and national origin” have no relevance “to the selection, evaluation, or compensation of employees.” 

Doug Hallward-Driemeier, appellate & Supreme Court partner, represented the ABA in its filing with litigation & enforcement associate Logan Pettigrew. In 2015, Doug argued the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges at the U.S. Supreme Court in which the justices ruled that marriage equality is legal in all U.S. states and territories. Speaking about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock, Doug said: “We are gratified the Court interpreted Title VII consistent with how Congress intended for the law to be read, and we are also gratified to know that employers cannot ever legally discriminate against LGBTQ workers because of their orientation or identity.”

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