OH Attorney General Dave Yost signs the state onto anti-workplace protection amicus brief

The Trump administration has found a new ally in their fight against LGBTQ+ rights: the state of Ohio.

On Friday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost released a statement announcing that he had signed Ohio’s name onto an amicus brief sent to the Supreme Court arguing that discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community is not outlawed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is thus permissible.

“This case is about whether the judiciary gets to write new laws or if that should be left to elected legislators. The plain language of Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating because of sex, not sexual orientation or gender identity. If the law is to be amended, Congress, not the courts, should be the one doing it.” –Attorney General Yost, 8/23/19

Despite the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission previously affirming that the LGBTQ+ community is protected in the workplace and despite the fact that there was nothing compelling the state of Ohio to sign onto the brief, Yost’s action joins Ohio with 14 other states that have chosen to go out of their way to argue against workplace protections.  This move also stands in conflict with Governor DeWine’s executive order earlier this year barring state government from discriminating against its own employees on the basis of their gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation. 

On October 9, the Supreme Court will hear arguments for a landmark trio of cases that will have far reaching effects in the world of employment protections. One of those cases originated right next door in Michigan when Aimee Stephens successfully sued a chain of funeral homes. Stephens was fired for violating her employer’s dress code after seeking to wear women’s clothes. The owner’s defense was based in “religious beliefs” that did not support Stephens’ identity as a trans woman. This case will result in the Supreme Court’s first major ruling on trans rights. 

Over 200 companies businesses, many of which operate with a strong presence here in Ohio, have signed a “friend of the court” brief in support of these LGBTQ+ protections.