Supreme Court Case on Anti-LGBTIQ Discrimination to Have International Implications


8 October 2019

Media Contact: Daina Ruduša,, +1 (917) 622-1865

Supreme Court Case on Anti-LGBTIQ Discrimination to Have International Implications

On October 8, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States of America will begin hearing arguments in a case which will determine whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion, applies to cases of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The question in front of the justices is whether discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a form of sex discrimination and therefore prohibited by the Civil Rights Act. This is a landmark case for the USA, where more than half the states (26 in total) do not have explicit protection against discrimination for LGBTIQ people. It marks the first time the Supreme Court will hear a civil rights case concerning the rights of trans people, and comes at a time when the Trump administration has rolled back numerous advances in the protection of particularly trans people made under the Obama Administration. In relation to this case, the Justice Department under the Trump administration has stated that Title VII doesn’t cover discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight International comments:

“LGBTIQ people face discrimination on a day to day basis, including in the workplace. Hopefully the Supreme Court will confirm this basic protection for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, across the US. But the decision - positive or negative - will have reverberations beyond US borders. Governments and movements are inspired by each other, and landmark judgments are quoted by courts across the world. The decision the Supreme Court makes in this case will have implications for LGBTIQ people everywhere.”



Every day around the world, LGBTIQ people’s human rights and dignity are abused in ways that shock the conscience. The stories of their struggles and their resilience are astounding, yet remain unknown—or willfully ignored—by those with the power to make change. OutRight Action International, founded in 1990 as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, works alongside LGBTIQ people in the Global South, with offices in six countries, to help identify community-focused solutions to promote policy for a lasting change. We vigilantly monitor and document human rights abuses to spur action when they occur. We train partners to expose abuses and advocate for themselves. Headquartered in New York City, OutRight is the only global LGBTIQ-specific organization with a permanent presence at the United Nations in New York that advocates for human rights progress for LGBTIQ people.