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June 15, 2020

ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL ISSUES STATEMENT ON U.S. SUPREME COURT’S RULING PROTECTING CIVIL RIGHTS OF LGBTQ+ INDIVIDUALS

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion affirming that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ+ workers.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the LGBTQ+ community and confirms what so many of us have long known to be true: discriminating against someone based on who they love or who they are is unfair and unlawful,” Raoul said. “There is no better way to commemorate Pride Month than by celebrating the court’s decision that protects the right of individuals to go to work without fear of losing their jobs for living as their authentic selves. Discrimination of any kind has no place in our society, and I will continue fighting to hold all employers accountable for following anti-discrimination laws.”

In June 2019, Attorney General Raoul led a coalition of 22 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court cases of Altitude Express v. Zarda; Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, which were considered together by the court and culminated in this decision. In their brief, Raoul and the coalition argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against transgender people or on the basis of sexual orientation.

Raoul and the coalition argued 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 increased harassment of LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace, which ranges from denial of jobs and promotions to physical and sexual assault. Additionally, Raoul and the attorneys general argued that discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees impedes states’ ability to promote equality and protect residents’ dignity, economic security and mental health.

Attorney General Raoul committed to fighting discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals. Most recently, he sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging it not to finalize its proposed regulation that would seriously undermine the Affordable Care Act’s critical anti-discrimination protections. Additionally, in April, Raoul urged the Federal Drug Administration to ease discriminatory restrictions on blood donation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attorney General Raoul encourages individuals to contact his office to report instances of discrimination or harassment by calling his Civil Rights Hotline at 1-877-581-3692.

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