Zillow is joining more than 200 companies in signing onto an amicus brief to be filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in three cases that could be a determining factor in whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer people are protected from discrimination under civil rights laws.
“This brief exposes the lie that affirming Civil Rights protections for LGBTQ Americans is somehow anti-business,” Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates said in a statement.
“The opposite is true,” Uritus added. “Equality is good for businesses and employees. And consumers – who are increasingly savvy and intentional about their spending power – are demanding equality.”
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide, in the three consolidated cases – R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC and Aimee Stephens; Bostock v. Clayton County; and Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda – whether anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination that would violate the Civil Rights Act. The court will begin hearing the cases on October 8, 2019.
In the amicus brief – a legal filing by entities that are not parties to the case, but have an expressed interest – the business will argue that non-discrimination and inclusion are good for businesses and the economy; top businesses are comfortable with courts holding that federal law provides protections for LGBTQ employees; non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ employees help improve businesses and there would be significant costs for businesses and employees if sexual orientation and gender discrimination were not forbidden by law.
Zillow Group is proud to join 200+ companies in signing a “friend of the court” #SCOTUS brief, seeking the Court’s recognition that the Civil Rights Act protects against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. https://t.co/weNIKWv2FI
— Zillow Group (@ZillowGroup) July 2, 2019
In R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC and Aimee Stephens, Stephens claims that when she informed the funeral home where she worked as a funeral director that she was transgender and planned to come to work as the woman she is, the business owner fired her.
In Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, skydiving instructor Donald Zarda says he was fired from his job because of his sexual orientation.
In Bostock v. Clayton County, Gerald Lynn Bostock claims he was fired from his job as a county child welfare services coordinator when his employer learned he is gay.
“At this critical moment in the fight for LGBTQ equality, these leading businesses are sending a clear message to the Supreme Court that LGBTQ people should, like their fellow Americans, continue to be protected from discrimination,” Jay Brown, senior vice president for programs, research and training for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, said in a statement. “These employers know first-hand that protecting the LGBTQ community is both good for business and the right thing to do.”
The brief was authored by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and organized by a coalition of LGBTQ civil rights organizations, including HRC, Lambda Legal, Out Leadership, Out and Equal, and Freedom for All Americans.
Zillow’s presence on the list is no surprise, as they were one of the first companies in the real estate industry to announce their support for the Equality Act, legislation that would add non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals into the nation’s civil rights laws, which include the Fair Housing Act.
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