For Immediate Release:

Elliot Levy, 202-800-7409,

New York – July 3, 2019 – The Central Conference of American Rabbis has today participated in the filing of a brief amicus curiae in the United States Supreme Court in support of LGBTQ rights in three cases pending before the Court. The CCAR is filing along with several other religious organizations as well as many clergy of different religions, including individual members of the CCAR.

The three cases all deal with whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals from employment discrimination based on their status as gay, lesbian, or transgender. For example, one concerns whether a funeral home can terminate a transgender person solely because the home’s owners believe that a person should present themselves as the gender that they had at birth. The brief argues that unequal treatment of LGBTQ individuals constitutes sex discrimination under Title VII, as several lower courts have held. These cases have substantial ramifications for LGBTQ employees throughout the United States.

The purpose of an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief is to provide the justices with information that they might not otherwise have. In this case, the brief that the CCAR joined explains that many religious entities view equal treatment of LGBTQ people as a religious imperative. This counters arguments made by some faith communities that their religious beliefs in effect require them to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The brief that the CCAR joined argues that allowing such discrimination favors some religions at the expense of others.

The three consolidated cases are Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Bostock v. Clayton County. They are expected to be decided in the Supreme Court’s 2019 – 2020 term.


About the Central Conference of American Rabbis:
The Central Conference of American Rabbis is the Reform Rabbinic leadership organization.  The CCAR strengthens the Jewish community by providing religious, spiritual, ethical and intellectual leadership and wisdom.  CCAR and its members lead the Reform Movement on important spiritual, social, cultural and human rights issues, as it has done since 1889.  CCAR also is the center for lifelong rabbinic learning, professional development, and resources for the 2,100 rabbis who serve more than 1.5 million Reform Jews throughout North America, Israel and the world. Since its founding, the CCAR has also served as the primary publisher of the Reform Movement through CCAR Press and its imprint Reform Judaism Publishing.