Tracking LGBT-Related Litigation in Every State

What’s Ahead for LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Litigation

To achieve a fully comprehensive law protecting Americans from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, our movement must work on multiple tracks, creating undeniable momentum that the country requires and is ready for fully inclusive non-discrimination protections ensuring no one faces unfair treatment because of who they are or who they love.

In addition to legislative work happening in statehouses and public education work happening elsewhere, part of this work is happening in the courts – and dozens of legal cases related to LGBTQ discrimination are currently pending in courts across the country.

Background: Where We Stand in the Courts

From cases where LGBTQ Americans could secure greater protections to cases in which the LGBTQ movement must defend long-held protections, litigation is being filed and pursued at a rapid pace. Each legal case provides a tremendous public education opportunity, an illustration of how discrimination strips LGBTQ people of their dignity, and a chance to highlight that a broad majority of Americans support comprehensive non-discrimination protections once and for all.

Freedom for All Americans is tracking key litigation related to LGBTQ Americans here. We are grateful for our legal partners – including the American Civil Liberties Union, GLTBQ Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Transgender Law Center, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and others – making the case against discrimination in the court of law while we support this work and push forward in the court of public opinion. You can read in-depth, primary source documents on all of these cases, and many more, at Equality Case Files.

Key Upcoming Dates
Imminent Decisions

Types of Lawsuits Currently in Court

Select a case type to view current litigation.


Where LGBTQ Litigation Stands in Federal Appellate Circuits

Nearly all of the nation’s 13 federal appellate courts have considered whether sex discrimination amounts to discrimination based on LGBTQ identity – and in recent years several of these appellate courts have issued landmark decisions in favor of LGBTQ non-discrimination. Take a look at where we stand on the question of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in each circuit:


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Featured Litigation

303 Creative v. Elenis

Case Seeking Religious Exemption from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: August 14, 2018 • State's Motion to Dismiss Granted
Status: Remanded to District Court for Ruling
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Public Accommodations Discrimination

The business owner, a graphic designer, says the non-discrimination law forces her to promote marriages between same-sex couples and so she has filed a preemptive lawsuit.

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EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Gender Identity Under Title VII

Key Date: July 24, 2018 • Petition for Writ of Certoriari before the Supreme Court of the United States
Status: Awaiting Review of Supreme Court Petition
Legal Team: EEOC & ACLU
Type: Employment Discrimination

This effort to seek a religious exemption from Title VII under the federal RFRA was denied by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

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Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: June 5, 2018 • Appeal Filed by Defendant to 4th Circuit
Status: Appeal Pending Before 4th Circuit
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Discrimination Targeting Transgender Students

Gavin graduated from high school in June 2017 – but his case has not yet ended. The ACLU has continued to represent him, and on May 22 of 2018, a federal district court ruled that his Title IX claim had merit.

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Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia

Case Alleging Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Key Date: May 30, 2018 • Petition for Writ of Certoriari before the Supreme Court of the United States
Status: Awaiting Review of Supreme Court Petition
Legal Team: Buckley Beal, LLP
Type: Employment Discrimination

On May 10, Gerald Lynn Bostock's appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals was denied, upholding a lower court's dismissal of the case.

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Horton v. Midwest Geriatric Management, LLC.

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Under Title VII

Key Date: December 21, 2017 • District court ruling against plaintiff
Status: Pending before 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
Legal Team: Private Counsel & Lambda Legal
Type: Employment Discrimination

After Mark applied for, interviewed, was offered, and accepted a job at Midwest Geriatric, LLC, the job offer was rescinded, following his disclosure to management that he was married to a man. 

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Joel Doe v. Boyertown Area School District

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: May 24, 2018 • 3rd Circuit Ruling in Favor of District
Status: 3rd Circuit Victory Could Face SCOTUS Review
Legal Team: ACLU of Pennsylvania
Type: Discrimination Targeting Transgender Students

This case is about respecting transgender students for who they are and is a part of the growing legislative and legal momentum against restricting restroom access for transgender Americans.

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Karnoski v. Trump

Case Challenging Trump's Directive Banning Military Service for Transgender Americans

Key Date: July 18, 2018 • Motion for Stay of Preliminary Injunction Denied
Status: Headed to Trial in 2018
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Other LGBT Litigation

On August 28 Karnoski v. Trump was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington challenging Trump's attempt to reinstate a ban on open service for transgender people.

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Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew Living Community

Case Concerning Housing Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Key Date: August 27, 2018 • 7th Circuit Ruling in Favor of Plaintiff
Status: 7th Circuit Ruling in Favor of Plaintiff
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Housing Discrimination

The plaintiff is Marsha Wetzel, a woman in Niles, Illinois who experienced harassment and discrimination from residents and administrators at Glen St. Andrew Living Community.

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Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc.

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Under Title VII

Key Date: May 29, 2018 • Cert. Petition Filed with U.S. Supreme Court
Status: Cert. Petition Pending Before U.S. Supreme Court
Legal Team: Gregory Antollino
Type: Employment Discrimination

Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc. is a case concerning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. After revealing his sexual orientation to a customer at the skydiving business where he worked on Long Island, NY, Don Zarda was fired.

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