Georgia Equality has submitted an amicus brief in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, which is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court this fall.
Photo: AP/PATRICK SEMANSKY/Associated Press
Photo: AP/PATRICK SEMANSKY/Associated Press

Georgia gay rights group backs ex-Clayton official in high court discrimination case

A Georgia group that advocates equal treatment for the gay, lesbian and trangender community has filed an amicus brief supporting a former Clayton County child welfare official whose discrimination case is being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a brief filed Monday in the case of Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia Equality argues that “employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity increases the already high rates of prejudice LGBTQ people experience at work. 

“It also contributes to the increased harassment of LGBTQ employees – which range from denial of jobs and promotions to physical and sexual assault,” the group continued. 

Bostock filed a lawsuit in 2016 against Clayton County after he was fired three years earlier from his position as a child welfare services coordinator. He said he was terminated because of his sexual orientation, an issue that came to a head after he joined a gay softball team in Atlanta.

The county, however, accused Bostock of mismanaging funds he oversaw. Bostock denied the charge and said it was a pretext for his firing.  

The Supreme Court will hear his case and two others Oct. 8. At issue will be whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that made discrimination on the basis of race, religion and natural origin illegal extends to sexual orientation. 

“Employment discrimination is a real issue impacting the lives of millions of LGBTQ Americans and their families – this includes the estimated 360,600 Georgians who identify as LGBTQ,” Georgia Equality Deputy Director Eric Paulk said in a statement.

“The court should affirm nationwide legal protection based on their sex because no one should endure discrimination or harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

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