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The Supreme court’s LGBTQ ruling leaves unfinished business for equality

The Supreme Court’s 6–3 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, was obviously a landmark moment in the fight for LGBTQ equality. For the first time, every person in the United States, no matter where they live and work, has protection in the workplace against being fired, harassed or not hired in the first place simply because of their sexuality or because they are transgender. As usual with such victories, however, it is important to note the work left to be done. In this reflection, I will focus on three areas of unfinished business: the impact of religious objectors, the importance of administrative action and the role of state legislation.

First, the true scope of the protection afforded under Bostock will depend critically on how courts going forward interpret Title VII’s coverage in light of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA. Under RFRA, anyone affected by the application of federal law can assert that their religious beliefs are being substantially burdened, thus forcing the government (here, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC) to bear […]

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