Civil Rights and Discrimination
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
One major flashpoint in the on-going conflicts between states and cities has been in the area of civil rights, especially LGBTQ rights.
Although federal law does not explicitly protect against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bostock v. Clayton County interpreted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect LGBTQ individuals due to the law’s prohibition on discrimination based on sex (Bostock v. Clayton County 2020). Although Bostock extends employment nondiscrimination protections to many LGBTQ individuals, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act only applies to employment discrimination and only to businesses with 15 or more employees. Additionally, many state civil rights laws do not include protections for LGBTQ persons. Numerous cities have sought to fill this void and to build on state and federal nondiscrimination protections, generating opposition in some statehouses.