Updated: July / 2 / 2019
More than 200 corporations, some of which are America’s best-known companies, are now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that federal civil rights law will ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The corporations outlined their stance in a legal briefing that was released on Tuesday by a coalition of five LGBTQ rights groups. The briefing is being submitted to the Supreme Court in the coming week ahead of arguments before the justices on Oct. 8 on three cases that may determine whether those who are gay, lesbian, or transgender are protected from discrimination by existing federal civil rights laws.
Among the 206 corporations endorsing the briefing were companies such as Amazon, American Airlines, Bank of America, Ben & Jerry’s, Coca-Cola, Domino’s Pizza, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Nike, Starbucks, Viacom, the Walt Disney Co., and Xerox. Two major league baseball teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Even where companies voluntarily implement policies to prohibit sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination, such policies are not a substitute for the force of law,” the brief argued. “Nor is the patchwork of incomplete state or local laws sufficient protection — for example, they cannot account for the cross-state mobility requirements of the modern workforce.”
Federal appeals courts in Chicago and New York have ruled recently that gay and lesbian employees are entitled to protection from discrimination; the federal appeals court in Cincinnati has extended similar protections for transgender people.