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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Georgia man fights for gay rights at Supreme Court

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Georgia man fights for gay rights at Supreme Court
Georgia man fights for gay rights at Supreme Court

A major LGBT rights fight is coming before the U.S. Supreme Court next month, prompted by a Georgia man who's convinced he was fired for joiing a gay-friendly softball league.

Gavino Garay has more.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GERALD BOSTOCK, SAYING: "So I'm willing to be the one to stand up and fight this." Gerald Bostock was fired from his Georgia county government job in 2013.

He says because he is gay.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GERALD BOSTOCK, SAYING: "Homophobia is unacceptable." His firing is now at the heart of a major LGBT rights case coming before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall.

Bostock had been proud of his job as an advocate for children caught up in the juvenile justice system in suburban Atlanta.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GERALD BOSTOCK, SAYING: "So imagine having the job that you love, a job that you're good at, and all of a sudden you're fired because of who you are or who you love." He believes it was his decision to join a gay-friendly softball league that led to his dismissal, a move his legal team argues was motivated by anti-gay sentiment.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GERALD BOSTOCK, SAYING: "I was devastated.

I lost my source of income.

I lost my medical insurance.

I was recovering from prostate cancer when this happened to me." The county has denied it discriminated against Bostock and defends its decision to fire him.

The two sides will meet in Washington on October 8th when the Supreme Court hears Bostock's case and two others on whether the law protects gay and transgender people from workplace bias.

Title XII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or sex.

At issue is whether those protections cover gay and transgener people.

After losing in the lower court, Bostock is asking the conservative majority high court to let him bring a federal discrimination lawsuit against the county.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GERALD BOSTOCK, SAYING: "I didn't ask for any of this.

I found myself in this situation, but I've also learned in this journey that it's a much bigger issue.

Anyone in this country that wants to work and is able to work should be able to do that without fear of being fired or discriminated against because who they are or who they love." Legal experts say a ruling in Bostock's favor would give gay and transgender workers greater protections, especially in the 28 states, including Georgia, that do not have strong laws against job discrimination.


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