On June 15, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination. Professor Doron Kalir discussed the opinion with the Cleveland Jewish News and the Chronicle Telegram (Elyria). Professor Kalir praised the opinion, noting that it would be very influential because over one hundred other federal statutes also include the phrase interpreted in Bostock–“because of sex.” Professor Kalir also affirmed the social significance of the decision, reinforcing that LGBTQ rights are human rights. He stated that the decision is one more step towards a more perfect Union.
Professor Kalir also cautioned about future difficulties in enforcing the rights of LGBTQ employees. He explained that all three employers in the cases before the Supreme Court were brazen enough to admit that they have fired the employees only for being gay or transgender, in the future, employers may be less open or honest about their motives for terminating LGBTQ employees.
Together with Professors Matthew Green, Ken Kowalski, and Carolyn Broering-Jacobs, professor Kalir submitted last year an Amicus Brief to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Amy Stephens case — one of the three cases decided by the Court in Bostock. The Brief was submitted on behalf of Equality Ohio, headed by Cleveland-Marshall alumna Alana Jochum, and helped the Court of Appeals in ruling in favor of the logical interpretation of Title VII.
Though Ms. Stephens did not live to see the day, the Supreme Court affirmed the Sixth Circuit’s opinion, recognizing for the first time the right of transgender persons to be protected from discrimination in their workplace.