Supreme Court Rules LGBTQ People Protected from Discrimination at Work by Federal Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a historic ruling, today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers don’t have a right to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people at work.

“This historic decision makes clear that LGBTQ+ people are, and should be, protected from discrimination under federal law,” said The Rev. Stan J. Sloan, CEO of Family Equality. “This Supreme Court decision is encouraging, yet we still have a long way to go. Just days ago, the Trump Administration issued a final rule removing nondiscrimination protections in health care, a move that will only worsen health inequities for LGBTQ+ people, with Black and transgender people suffering the most. Now, we need Congress to act. We need full nondiscrimination protections under federal law for LGBTQ+ people. We need to take action to dismantle systemic racism and end police violence against Black people. We need a comprehensive federal response to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis that protects those made most vulnerable by discrimination and systemic racism.”

Last year, Family Equality joined with The Trevor Project and PFLAG to submit an Amicus Brief in support of employees in three LGBTQ+ employment discrimination cases ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court today.

“The amicus brief co-authored by Family Equality in this historic case demonstrated how discrimination is an everyday experience for LGBTQ+ families. We argued that anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination is discrimination based on sex and is, therefore, prohibited by Title VII, and today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of that position,” said Denise Brogan-Kator, chief policy officer of Family Equality. “Discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals is based on dominant social expectations about how men and women are supposed to look, act, and carry themselves, and about who they are supposed to love. It is impossible to separate discrimination based on sex from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and today the Supreme Court made clear that they agree, in a 6–3 decision.”

For more information about the Title VII Cases, visit this link.

About Family Equality

Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at

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More Information

Title VII Cases Background

Download the ruling from the Supreme Court (PDF)

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