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Dave Yost’s lawsuit contesting anti-discrimination laws is just theater

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Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

Last week Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined attorneys general of 19 other states in a lawsuit demanding that the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) be prevented from implementing and enforcing protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The complaint, filed in Tennessee, was brought solely by Republican AGs. You will not be surprised, then, to learn that it’s less a bona fide legal challenge than it is an exercise in political grandstanding in the continuance of Republicans’ never-ending culture war.

The suit has its roots in 2020’s landmark Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County in which the court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from being fired because they are gay or transgender. President Biden signed an order implementing that ruling across federal agencies the day he took office. In June, both the EEOC and DOE issued anti-discrimination guidelines covering the workplace, which flows directly from Title VII, as well as schools that receive federal funding pursuant to Title IX.

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