MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Township officials signed a brief supporting LGBTQ rights for three U.S. workers who were either fired or let go from their jobs because of their sexual orientation.
The cases concern three plaintiffs: Gerald Lynn Bostock, who was fired from his job as a court child welfare services coordinator in Georgia because he is gay; Aimee Stephens, who was let go from her job at a funeral home in Michigan after she shared with her employer that she is a transgender woman; and Don Zarda, who was fired from his job in New York as a skydiving instructor for being gay.
“No one should experience discrimination because of who they are or who they love. Our LGBTQ neighbors and community members make important contributions to our community, and they just want the same thing as every other resident: to raise a family, to make a decent living, and to feel accepted in the community they call home,” said Mayor Vic De Luca in a press release about the brief that supports the lawsuit.
"We joined this lawsuit because of the injustice these three individuals and thousands of others in the LGBTQ community face in the workplace," De Luca said.
The suit is expected to be heard in U.S. Supreme Court this fall. The lawsuit questions whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, prohibits LGBTQ discrimination.
The lawsuit argues that "local experience shows that prohibiting all forms of sex-based discrimination benefits the entire community" and that "workplace discrimination including sex discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people harms local governments."
The plantiffs are seeking to have the orders of the Second and Sixth Circuit affirmed in the Zarda and Stephens cases and the order of the Eleventh Circuit reversed in the Bostock case.
Maplewood Township Committeeman Dean Dafis plans to be in Washington, D.C. for the court hearing on this matter in October.
“As local elected officials it is our responsibility to make sure all our residents are treated with dignity, fairness, and respect. No form of discrimination has any place in any community in the United States. Winning this case is critical for the LGBTQ community,” said Dafis.