Several New York-based human rights organizations are planning a trip to Washington, D.C., next month for “a national action with a civil disobedience component” at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The purpose of the action is to bring attention to an “attempt to legalize discrimination against our communities, particularly trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming folk,” a statement released by Housing Works, the protest’s organizer, reads.
On Oct. 8, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for three cases involving discrimination against LGBTQ employees.
In what’s being called one of the highest-profile issues of SCOTUS next term — and “one of the biggest days in LGBTQ legal history,” according to Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project and a nationally recognized expert on transgender rights — the conservative-leaning bench will decide if Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids discrimination on the basis of sex, also includes discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
The Supreme Court justices could ultimately decided that it is legal to fire a person simply for being LGBTQ.
Housing Works, a New York City-based nonprofit that fights for HIV/AIDS and homelessness, is organizing the day-long protest “to shine a light on the importance of the courts in the defense of our civil rights, and to send a message that we will not stand idly by while our freedom to be free from stigma, bigotry and discrimination while we’re on the job is up for debate.”
The organization is coordinating the overall national mobilization and it’s sponsoring multiple buses to transport activist groups including, the Reclaim Pride Coalition, The New York Transgender Advocacy Group, VOCAL-NY, and Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
“Anyone who wants to join us and rally in support of continued LGBTQ workplace rights may join us, including those who don’t wish to do civil disobedience,” a Housing Works spokesperson told Gay City News. They can do so by signing up here.
“We have confidence that our position will prevail, but win or lose, the entire LGBTQ community will need to remain engaged in the ongoing work of achieving full equality,” the spokesperson added.
“We are in this for the long haul, and we encourage everyone to bring their energy and talent to this fight.”
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