Most people do not know what it is like to repeatedly hit refresh on a browser at 10 a.m. the last couple of Mondays in June each year, wondering if the United State Supreme Court will decide whether “Equal Justice Under Law” actually applies to them. So it was again this year for me, waiting, then rejoicing that SCOTUS has declared in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia that LGBT people cannot be fired from their employment for being, well, LGBT. Happy Pride month, indeed.
Before Bostock, an LGBT person could be terminated from employment in 30 states just because they were LGBT. Indeed, the employer could actually say: “You are fired because you are…” LGBT—which was the actual fact pattern in the three cases consolidated and heard together under Bostock. However, there was a time where the legal environment in the United State was unforgiving everywhere for LGBT employees. In particular, an extraordinary pattern of gay and lesbian discrimination has been documented among school teachers and government employees reaching back to the 1940s.
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