Dear families, dear friends,
It’s been a hard month. I think we all needed some good news. And we got it.

We dedicate today to plaintiff Aimee Stephens. Because today, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the role of the government to protect all US citizens equally when it handed down its ruling in the cases of Bostock v. Clayton County , Altitude Express v. Zarda , and Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC , finding that discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is a violation of civil rights law. Aimee Stephens, who died just a month ago, filed her complaint back in 2013, and was the sole transgender plaintiff in this trio of landmark cases. The decision in her case now secures protection against employment discrimination for all transgender people.

In the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis and vitally important nationwide demonstrations in support of Black lives and against systemic racism, these decisions are heartening and encouraging. From the majority opinion, handed down by Judge Gorsuch:
[I]t is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.

[H]omosexuality and transgender status are inextricably bound up with sex. Not because homosexuality or transgender status are related to sex in some vague sense or because discrimination on these bases has some disparate impact on one sex or another, but because to discriminate on these grounds requires an employer to intentionally treat individual employees differently because of their sex.

However, on this same day the court failed to revisit the “qualified immunity” legal doctrine that shields police officers from accountability. We will never find justice in a system of power that upholds injustice. T oday as always, we remember that the legal rights of all LGBTQ+ people won’t be secure until we end the systemic ways that racism oppresses Black people and other people of color—economically, socially, and in the voting booth—and bring to a halt its use as a means to hold onto and expand political power by the far right more broadly. It has always been the case: ending systemic racism dismantles systems that also harm all LGBTQ+ people.

So today is about remembering that we make our own justice , and always have, and have to continue. 

LGBTQ people still have only a handful of federally protected rights in addition to today's newly clarified protection from employment discrimination: the right to marry, the right to adopt a child as a couple, the right to serve openly in the military. Beyond this, protections are piecemeal and patchwork. Over half of Americans still live in states that do not prohibit discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity . And always, LGBTQ people still live at the intersections of racism, classism, ableism, and inequity.

Today, we are proud that justice has prevailed. But we’re more proud that love has always been, and will always be, our legacy. Our advocates – in the courtrooms, in the streets, and in the places we call home – have worked their hearts out for this moment. We didn’t need the Court to tell us that LGBTQ rights are civil rights, and our fight goes on. We will continue the hard work – in the legislative realm, in support of the Equality Act, passed last year by 236 House representatives, and now before the Senate – to ensure that all LGBTQ people are protected, in all areas of life, from all that threatens our existence. 

At a time when life feels more precious than ever, we celebrate the thing that makes life worth living: love. Win or lose, we’ll keep loving those least likely to have someone to celebrate with today. We’ll keep fighting for the most vulnerable and disenfranchised members of our community. We’ll keep making and expanding the definition of home until we can all call someone family. Thank you for being part of ours.

In solidarity,
Sam Ames, Esq., JD, MTS
Interim Executive Director

P.S. We'll gather as a community 4pm Pacific today for a Decision Day Rally , followed by a Town Hall at 5:30pm . At the Town Hall we'll hear expert analysis about the opinion, how it will affect our lives, and what still needs to be done. RSVP here for the Rally and Town Hall logins .