June 16, 2020

Dear CSU Campus Community,

Yesterday, I noted that there is so much happening across the country that impacts our community that I expected to communicate with you several times this week.  I am deeply glad that in this instance, I can call your attention to good news from the national level.

As many of you know, June is PRIDE Month, a time to double-down on our commitment to our LGBTQ students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to do all within our power to end violence and discrimination against them. Thus, we celebrate yesterday’s US Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, in which the Court decided that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity because an individual’s LGBTQ status falls with the Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on “sex.”

Whether the expanded meaning of “sex” in this context will extend to other areas of the law is on the minds of many.  Why?  Defining sex as biologically determined at birth means that access to school bathrooms would be determined by biology not gender identity; the military would be closed to transgender service members; and other civil rights protections in health care would not extend to transgender people. However, with yesterday’s decision, the Court laid the groundwork for an expanded definition of “sex” and therefore, for expanded protections against discrimination.

Although it will be some time before we see the full impact of the decision, there is firm ground now upon which to stand to see a future in which LGBTQ individuals are broadly protected from discrimination based on “sex.”