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Bostock v. Clayton County

140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020)

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Bostock v. Clayton County

United States Supreme Court

140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020)

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Facts

Gerald Bostock (plaintiff) worked for 10 years as a child-welfare advocate for Clayton County, Georgia (defendant). Shortly after Bostock started playing in a gay softball league, the county fired him for conduct “unbecoming” a county employee. Bostock sued in federal court for gender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The trial court dismissed his claim on the ground that Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the Eleventh Circuit affirmed. Meanwhile, two other circuit courts reached the opposite conclusion in similar cases. First, skydiving instructor Donald Zarda (plaintiff) was fired a few days after mentioning he was gay. Second, the funeral home where Aimee Stephens (plaintiff) worked for years presenting as a man fired her after Stephens said she intended to live and work as a transgender woman. Unlike Bostock’s case, the circuit courts in the Zarda and Stephens cases ruled that Title VII prohibits firing an employee based on sexual orientation or gender identity. To resolve the split, the United States Supreme Court joined the three cases and granted certiorari to decide them together.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gorsuch, J.)

Dissent (Kavanaugh, J.)

Dissent (Alito, J.)

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