What is it about?

This study compares the patterns of laws prohibiting employment discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees at the state-level with the patterns of laws allowing same-gender marriage before it was legalized nationwide by the Supreme Court.

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Why is it important?

Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is an issue which affects millions of LGBTQ+ workers nationwide. Federal law does not specifically prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ workers, however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) allows charges of discrimination to be filed based on sexual orientation and gender identity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the protected class of "sex". There are currently three cases before the Supreme Court which challenge this longstanding practice of the EEOC. By June of 2020, the Court will have issued a decision on this EEOC practice and LGBTQ+ policy issue which has broad implications for the community. This study compares variables which were important at early policy adoption at the state level of protections for LGBTQ+ workers from employment discrimination and same-sex marriage. Through a comparison of these two LGBTQ+ civil rights issues at the state level, conclusions may be drawn about the nature of state legislation as a strategy for achieving LGBTQ+ civil rights and the differences between policy issues which affect the LGBTQ+ community.

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This page is a summary of: Variables Which Influence the Early State Adoption of Pro-LGBT Legislation, Journal of Homosexuality, September 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2019.1657751.
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