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Why Courts Matter: LGBT Issues—Key Facts

Why Courts Matter: LGBT Issues—Key Facts

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Andrew Blotky and Kimberly Barton look at recent and ongoing court cases that demonstrate how much is at stake for the LGBT community.
Andrew Blotky and Kimberly Barton look at recent and ongoing court cases that demonstrate how much is at stake for the LGBT community.

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Center for American Progress on Jul 12, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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1Center for American Progress | Why Courts Matter
Why Courts Matter
LGBT Issues – Key Facts
July 2012
Much is a sake in cour or issues progressives have ough or, and cours are where Americans go o vindicae heir mos cherished consiuional righs. Pu simply:Cours mater.Like mos issues progressives care abou, issues aecing gay[1] and ransgender Americans oen end up in cour. Liigaion aecing he LGB communiy—romchallenges o Caliornia’s Proposiion 8 o lawsuis over he ederal Deense o Marriage Ac and ohers—is wending is way oward he U.S. Supreme Cour oday. From basiccivil righs proecions o economic jusice, cours are playing a pivoal role in he liveso gay and ransgender Americans in courrooms across he counry.Here is a sample o recen and ongoing cour cases ha demonsrae how much is asake or he LGB communiy:
Defense Of Marriage Act, or DOMA, repeal
Windsor v. United States
Due o he Deense o Marriage Ac, same-sex domesic parners are no exemp rompaying a ederal esae ax on willed asses. As a resul o his case, a ederal cour ruledDOMA unconsiuional and he Deparmen o Jusice recenly led an appeal.
Decided in he U.S. Disric Cour or he Souhern Disric o New York;Reques or appeal led.
Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management 
 A lawsui ha was led aer he Ofce o Personnel Managemen o he Ninh CircuiCour o Appeals denied exension o healh benes o he wie o a lesbian employee.Te Ninh Circui Cour o Appeals is reviewing he case, bu he Supreme Courmay consider i along wih wo similar cases in which a ederal cour has sruck downDOMA as unconsiuional.
2Center for American Progress | Why Courts Matter
Decided in he U.S. Disric Cour or he Norhern Disric o Caliornia;Pending in he U.S. Cour o Appeals or he Ninh Circui; Reques by Deparmen o  Jusice or review in he Supreme Cour o he U.S.
Domestic partner benefits
Bassett et al. v. Snyder 
Sui led by he American Civil Liberies Union in response o Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s signing o H.B. 4770—a sae bill ha eliminaed healh care coverage ordomesic parners o public employees.
Pending in he U.S. Disric Cour or he Easern Disric o Michigan,Souhern Division.
Glossip v. Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol Employees’ Retirement System
Kelly Glossip’s domesic parner, Sae rooper Dennis Engelhard, was killed ragically in he line o duy on Chrismas day. In Missouri surviving spousal benes are noexended o domesic parners, and same-sex couples are prohibied rom marrying.Glossip led a lawsui challenging he policy.
Pending in he Circui Cour o Cole Couny, Sae o Missouri.
State marriage laws
Perry v. Brown
Tis case challenged Caliornia’s Proposiion 8—a sae proposiion ha limied mar-riage only o opposie-sex couples—and won in he ederal cour. Te cour declaredProposiion 8 unconsiuional—a holding ha was upheld by he Ninh Circui Couro Appeals—and he case may undergo appeal by he Supreme Cour.
Decided in he U.S. Disric Cour or he Norhern Disric o Caliornia;Decided in he U.S. Cour o Appeals or he Ninh Circui; En banc hearing denied;appeal o Supreme Cour possible aer 90 day say saring June 5, 2012.
Sevcik v. Sandoval 
Lawsui led by Lambda Legal in he U.S. Disric Cour or he Disric o Nevada argu-ing ha Nevada’s ban on marriage equaliy violaes he Equal Proecion Clause o heU.S. Consiuion.
Pending in he U.S. Disric Cour, Disric o Nevada.
3Center for American Progress | Why Courts Matter
Gay discrimination
Collins v. United States
Despie he repeal o he miliarys “Don’ Ask, Don’ ell” policy, he Deparmen o Deense sill grans only hal he separaion pay o service members discharged or beinggay. Te case claims his policy is discriminaory and unconsiuional.
Pending in U.S. Cour o Federal Claims.
Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) vs. DynCorp International LLC 
Despie he lack o a ederal law prohibiing employmen discriminaion based on anindividual’s sexual orienaion, his case highlighs ha employees working in anigay environmens may someimes successully seek recourse by claiming discriminaion onhe basis o sex or gender sereoyping.
Reques or rial by jury led in U.S. Disric Cour or he Easern Disric o  Virginia, Alexandria Division; Setlemen reached.
 Transgender discrimination
Schroer v. Library of Congress
Te Library o Congress revoked Diane J. Schroer’s employmen oer aer she dis-closed ha she was undergoing gender ransiion. A ederal disric judge ruled ha dis-criminaion on he basis o changing genders is considered sex discriminaion—whichis unconsiuional under ederal law.
Decided in he U.S. Disric Cour or he Disric o Columbia; No appeal led,case closed.
K.L. v. State of Alaska
Te sae superior cour sruck down an Alaska Sae Deparmen o Moor Vehiclespolicy prohibiing an individual o change his or her sex on heir driver’s license wihouproo o sexual reassignmen surgery.
Decided in he Superior Cour or he Sae o Alaska or he Tird JudicialDisric a Anchorage. Reques or appeal led.
Macy v. Holder Complaint 
Te Deparmen o Alcohol, obacco, Firearms, and Explosions denied employmen oMia Macy when i became clear she was ransgender. Her claim was brough beore heEqual Employmen Opporuniy Commission, or EEOC, which decided ha discrimi-naion based on gender ideniy is unconsiuional under ile VII o he Civil Righs

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