The outcome of three LGBTQ workplace discrimination cases could have a profound impact on LGBTQ veterans, military families and national security

Today, the Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) — the nation’s largest non-profit organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) military and veteran community — and the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) filed a “friend of the court” brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in three cases that could determine whether LGBTQ people are protected under current federal civil rights law. 

Urging the court to make clear that anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination is prohibited under Title VII on the basis of “sex,” the organizations argue that a decision from the Court excluding LGBTQ people from existing federal non-discrimination protections “would have profoundly damaging effects on LGBT family members of service members and LGBT veterans and it would put the Nation’s security at risk.” Such a decision would especially impact LGBTQ veterans and the family members of LGBTQ service members who live in areas of the country that are not as inclusive of the LGBTQ community.

“Despite their heroic service to our country, many military families are struggling financially to make ends meet — a situation that could be compounded for LGBTQ military families if the Supreme Court finds federal non-discrimination protections don’t include them,” said MMAA Legal and Policy Director Peter Perkowski. “Service members need to be focused on the mission, and the last thing that LGBTQ service members should have to worry about is their spouse or family member losing or being denied a job because of who they are. It’s vitally important for LGBTQ veterans, military families and our national security as a whole that the Supreme Court makes clear federal law protects them from workplace discrimination.” 

MMAA and TAVA make three main arguments in the brief, including that Title VII’s protections are integral to protecting the economic and dignitary interests of LGBTQ military families; Title VII protections are crucial for veterans transitioning to civilian employment; and equal employment opportunity for LGBTQ people is a national security interest. 

Read the entire brief here.

The amicus brief was filed in the cases of R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC and Aimee Stephens and Bostock v. Clayton County, consolidated with Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda. The Supreme Court is expected to hear the cases on October 8, 2019.