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Northwestern professors available on historic ruling on LGBTQ employment discrimination

“Coming off the enormous marches around the world led by Black trans organizers yesterday, it’s an amazing day for LGBTQ people,” said Northwestern University Professor Steven Thrasher regarding today’s historic ruling by the Supreme Court in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that existing civil rights law protects gay and lesbian workers from employment discrimination. 

Thrasher, along with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Professor Andrew Koppelman who filed an amicus brief in this case, are available to comment on the case.

Thrasher is the inaugural Daniel H. Renberg Chair of social justice in reporting (with an emphasis on issues relevant to the LGBTQ community) and an assistant professor of journalism at Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Thrasher has worked as writer-at-large at the Guardian, and his articles are regularly published in the New York Times, BuzzFeed News, Esquire, the Nation, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Daily Beast. To arrange an interview, media should contact Erin Karter at erin.karter@northwestern.edu.

Quote from Professor Thrasher
“The decision that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should apply to LGBTQ people is something activists have been seeking for as long as I've been a journalist covering them, and even before that. It is hard to overstate how monumental this is. Comparatively, President Obama's repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell’ and the Supreme Court's rulings on marriage in the 2013 Windsor and 2015 Obergefell cases were also historic, but they affected far fewer people; they only affected those who wanted to serve in the military, and/or those who wanted to get married (especially spouses who had assets to share). 

“Today's ruling is even more broad, for it affects workplace discrimination—and almost all LGBTQ people will be workers in need of employment protections in their lifetime. The work left undone by the LGBTQ marriage and military victories left gaps concerning protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. Today's ruling successfully should end the matter of legal discrimination in employment, and it creates a powerful legal and cultural force for vanquishing discrimination regarding housing and accommodations, too."

Koppelman, theJohn Paul Stevens Professor of Law, filed an amicus briefin Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, and is available for comment. Koppelman is also theauthor of “Gay Rights vs. Religious Liberty? The Unnecessary Conflict” (Oxford University Press, June 2020). 
He can be reached at akoppelman@law.northwestern.edu