ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Gerald Bostock, a former Clayton County resident and the lead plaintiff who recently won a Supreme Court case against workplace discrimination of LGBTQ employees, is celebrating the victory.
Bostock said he was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation.
In an interview with CW69, he was joined by his attorney, Thomas Mew. The case has made headlines as a victory for all LGBTQ workers nationwide.
“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for, for years, and my heart is filled with joy and happiness, for sure,” said Bostock.
The case had been dismissed in District Court, unsuccessfully appealed in a circuit court, then the Supreme Court heard the case in October before a judge handed down the decision this week.
At issue was whether sex discrimination, which is prohibited under Title VII, should include sexual orientation discrimination. The case of Amy Stevens, which involved the issue of transgender discrimination, was consolidated into the judge’s opinion.
“It is truly a landmark decision. On a very personal and client level, I’m so thrilled for Gerald, that he’ll have a chance to go forward with his case,” said Mew, who represents clients through the Buckley Beal Law Firm.
Following the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on Monday that extends workplace discrimination protections to the #LGBTQ community, @Daily Report quoted our client Gerald Bostock and Buckley Beal Partner Thomas Mew discussing their reactions to the ruling. https://t.co/Zga20PhgEb
— Buckley Beal LLP (@EmployeeLawFirm) June 17, 2020
He said it’s a step forward in the right direction, and it comes at a time of considerable unrest in the country.
“We have so much work to do to dismantle this systemic culture of discrimination and racism,” Mew said.
“My hope is that it will shed a little sunshine on those dark days and it will provide hope to all, because we need to work harder to do better,” he said.
Mew said now Bostock will resume his case against Clayton County, where he lost his dream job after 10 years of advocating for child abuse and neglect victims.
“I made the decision to join a gay recreational softball league, and after I made that decision, I was fired. I was fired for being gay,” Bostock said.
However, according to an opinion article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bostock’s former boss, Clayton County Chief Juvenile Court Judge Steven Teske, says he fired Bostock for mismanaging funds. Teske also told AJC he supports the Supreme Court ruling.
Bostock’s attorney said he nor his client will comment on Teske’s accusations right now, since there’s a pending trial.
“We will proceed with our case, and certainly look forward to presenting the evidence we have and putting to the test any evidence Clayton County may wish to offer,” he said.
CW69 reached out to Teske and Clayton County for comment. They have not responded yet.
Bostock said, as a result of the court battle, he was forced to sale his home in Clayton County and move to Atlanta, where he currently works as a mental health counselor at a state facility.
He said the journey is not over, and he said he plans to lend his voice to encouraging lawmakers to pass legislation at the state and national levels supporting equality.
“I’m willing to continue this journey to ensure that we continue to fight inequality,” he said.
Mew said they’re more than ready to resume the case once the Supreme Court completes the process of returning it back to the District Court.