Professor Matthew W. Green Jr. published an op-ed today in Attorney-At-Law Magazine on the Supreme Court’s recent Bostock v. Clayton County decision. Bostock held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s proscription against sex discrimination encompasses claims of sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination as well.
Professor Green lauded the Court’s opinion for several reasons. Prior to Bostock, LGBTQ individuals grappling with workplace discrimination faced a patchwork of protections that depended on geographic location. Most states, like Ohio, do not protect employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Bostock provides employees such protection as long as they work for an employer that falls within the scope of Title VII. Professor Green also notes the significance of Bostock in light of Obergefell v. Hodges, which barred states from prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying. Bostock makes Obergefell even more meaningful because employees no longer have to fear being fired for exercising their constitutional right to marry.
While Bostock is momentous, Professor Green explains that because the decision is limited to employment, LGBTQ individuals continue to lack important protections in other areas, such as public accommodations. Bostock also leaves several other issues unresolved. For these and other reasons, Professor Green argues that advocates should continue to push for legislation at the federal and state levels specifically addressing issues of importance to LGBTQ individuals.
Professor Green is the Professor Alan Miles Ruben and Judge Betty Willis Ruben Professor at Cleveland-Marshall.