Next month, newly-elected Democrats will be seated in the U.S. House of Representatives, and current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, likely next Speaker of the House, has vowed to make a priority of establishing widespread equal rights for LGBTQ individuals – including anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. As our Los Angeles LGBTQ discrimination attorneys can explain, polling evidence shows that since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 ruled same sex couples are constitutionally allowed to marry, public support for LGBTQ rights has surged and religious resistance has waned. And while California and 19 other states already have anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBTQ workers, there has never been a federal equality law for these individuals.
The Obama administration did extend some protections, issuing guidelines that protected transgender students and taking the firm position that Title VII’s law regarding gender-based employment protections apply to LGBTQ people. The Trump administration summarily began tearing that all down, banning transgender people from the military, broadening religious exemptions for federal contractors who discriminate against LGBTQ people, proposing a repeal of Section 1557 that protected transgender people from health care discrimination, arguing Title VII law does NOT extend protection to transgender workers and issuing numerous executive orders effectively rolling back LGBTQ rights.
Our LGBTQ discrimination attorneys in Los Angeles and others have been fighting back in the courts, but a federal Equality Act would offer clear, decisive protections nationwide.
Historical Fight for LGBTQ Equality
By-and-large, the hammer of the courts has fallen squarely on the side of LGBTQ worker rights and protections. A new law would help cement very explicit protections for people based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas like employment, education, housing, credit, public accommodations, jury service and a number of federal programs. Continue reading