January 27, 2020

CCAR Files Brief in Support of LGBTQ Rights

The Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the Reform Rabbinic leadership organization, along with other religious organizations and clergy of different religions, participated in the filing of a brief amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) in the United States Supreme Court on July 3 to support LGBTQ rights in three pending cases.
“The three cases all deal with whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals from employment discrimination based on their status as gay, lesbian or transgender,” CCAR said in a statement to the Journal. “The brief argues that unequal treatment of LGBTQ individuals constitutes sex discrimination under Title VII, as severe lower courts have held.”
The amicus curiae will provide the justices with new information they might not have otherwise had. This specific case explains that many religious individuals consider equal treatment of the LGBTQ community as a religious imperative. In contrast, other faith communities believe their religions require them to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The brief that the CCAR joined argues that by allowing such discrimination, certain religions are being prioritized at the expense of others.
The three cases are Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Bostock v. Clayton County. Decisions are expected to be made in the Supreme Court’s 2019 – 2020 term.