What’s Ahead for LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Litigation
In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed in Bostock v. Clayton County that federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on “sex” also protect Americans from anti-LGBTQ discrimination. This is a major victory—but many other cases related to LGBTQ protections are on the docket.
From cases where LGBTQ Americans could secure greater protections to cases where the LGBTQ movement must defend long-held protections, litigation is being filed and pursued at a rapid pace. Each legal case provides a tremendous public education opportunity, an illustration of how discrimination strips LGBTQ people of their dignity, and a chance to highlight that a broad majority of Americans support comprehensive nondiscrimination protections once and for all.
Freedom for All Americans is tracking key litigation related to LGBTQ Americans here. We are grateful for our legal partners—including the American Civil Liberties Union, GLTBQ Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Transgender Law Center, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and others—making the case against discrimination in the court of law while we support this work and push forward in the court of public opinion. You can read in-depth, primary source documents on all of these cases, and many more, at Equality Case Files.
Types of Lawsuits Currently in Court
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LGBTQ Litigation at the U.S. Supreme Court
In June 2020 LGBTQ advocates celebrated a historic victory from the U.S. Supreme Court in Bostock v. Clayton County, which affirmed that LGBTQ people are protected from employment discrimination under federal law. Now, as we leverage this win, we also look toward the court's 2020-2021 session, when the justices will consider Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which concerns religious exemptions from LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination laws. Learn more about that case here.
Explore the litigation tracker
B.P.J. v West Virginia Board of Education
A Case Concerning LGBTQ Student(s) and Title IXKey Date: July 21, 2021 • Preliminary Injunction Filed
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Transgender Student Cases
This case concerns a law passed in the 2021 legislative session that prevents transgender youth from playing sports in the division corresponding to their gender identity.Read More
Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington
Case Seeking Religious Exemptions from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination LawsKey Date: July 2, 2021 • US Supreme Court Denies Writ of Certoriari
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations
A Washington woman claims a constitutional right to refuse to sell flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding.Read More
Sharonell Fulton et al. v. City of Philadelphia
Case Concerning Discrimination in Adoption and Foster CareKey Date: June 17, 2021 • Supreme Court Ruling
Legal Team: Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Child Welfare Issues
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 17, 2021 that governments can enforce nondiscrimination laws as long as they do so neutrally, but that the city of Philadelphia was not neutral in its application of its nondiscrimination laws.Read More