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.

In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on “sex” also protect Americans from anti-LGBTQ discrimination, a major victory – but many other cases related to LGBTQ protections are on the docket. 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.

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LGBTQ Litigation at the U.S. Supreme Court

In June 2020 LGBTQ advocates celebrated a historic victory from the U.S. Supreme Court in Bostock v. Clayton County, which affirmed that LGBTQ people are protected from employment discrimination under federal law. Now, as we leverage this win, we also look toward the court's 2020-2021 session, when the justices will consider Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which concerns religious exemptions from LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination laws. Learn more about that case here.


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Featured Litigation

Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington

Case Seeking Religious Exemptions from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: February 21, 2020 • Petition Distributed for U.S. Supreme Court Conference
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

On June 6, 2019, the Washington Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling that affirms the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

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Sharonell Fulton et al. v. City of Philadelphia

Case Concerning Discrimination in Adoption and Foster Care

Key Date: February 24, 2020 • Supreme Court Grants Review in Case
Legal Team: Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Child Welfare Issues

In Fall 2020 the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this case about whether child welfare agencies with government contracts may refuse to provide services to same-sex couples.

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