The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBT people, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. In November 2020, the EEOC sought comments in response to its revised Compliance Manual on Religious Discrimination, which addresses protections for religious people in the workplace.
There are approximately 8.1 million LGBT workers age 16 and older in the U.S. Research indicates that LGBT people continue to face widespread and persistent discrimination at work. Although many people of faith are supportive of LGBT people, discrimination against LGBT workers is often motivated by employers’ and coworkers’ religious beliefs.
Williams Institute scholars examine employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and its effects on the health and wellbeing of LGBT employees. Scholars suggest that the compliance manual be revised to more clearly articulate the proper balance between religious liberty and other civil rights, taking into account the harms to LGBT workers and employers that can result from religious exercise in the workplace.