Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, employers are prohibited from terminating employees because they are gay or transgender. The Court held that the language “on the basis of sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination of gay and transgender persons. Prior to this ruling, the “basis of sex” language was interpreted to focus solely on gender, meaning male or female.
While this was a groundbreaking ruling, it only applies to discrimination claims in the employment context. That is why LGBTQ+ advocates are seeking passage of the Equality Act, that amends several federal civil rights laws to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics in all areas of life including education, housing, and healthcare.