Governor Bevin Signs onto brief asking the Supreme Court to rule it is legal to fire LGBTQ people

Governor Matt Bevin signed onto a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug 23 asking the court to rule against three individuals who had been fired for being LGBTQ. The three cases include the first transgender civil rights case to be heard by the high court.

“Once again, Governor Bevin has shown that he is out-of-touch with the majority of Kentuckians who support the idea no one should be fired because of who they are,” says Michael Aldridge, executive director of the ACLU of Kentucky. “This is a cruel, unnecessary move that does nothing to strengthen our state’s economy and grow our workforce. If President Trump and Governor Bevin get their way at the Supreme Court, it will give the Trump administration the license to take even more dangerous actions against transgender people, including denying health care or kicking people out of their homes. It would put kids and families at risk.”

The employees in these cases, including ACLU clients Aimee Stephens who was fired for being transgender and Don Zarda who was fired for being gay, have argued that discrimination against LGBTQ people is unlawful sex discrimination. A number of federal appeals courts have said that the Civil Rights Act and other federal laws that prohibit sex discrimination apply to LGBTQ people, as have dozens of state and district courts.

Advocates say that a victory in these cases would be just one step towards achieving comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community nationwide.

“With the Trump Administration’s relentless attacks on LGBTQ equality, the need to pass the Equality Act to provide comprehensive, express federal protections for LGBTQ people nationwide is greater than ever,” said Aldridge. “Federal law doesn’t currently prohibit sex discrimination in some critical areas, like public accommodations and federally-funded programs so, no matter what the Supreme Court says, we also will need Congress to act to provide such protections for LGBTQ people and for all women.”

The cases will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on October 8.