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Why This Gay Man Took His Discrimination Case to the Supreme Court

Gerald Bostock

Gerald Bostock, whose case was heard by the court in October, talks about losing his "dream job" after he joined a gay softball league.

Gerald Bostock, a gay man whose discrimination case was heard by the Supreme Court in October, shares his story in a new video released by the Human Rights Campaign.

Bostock was a child welfare services coordinator in Clayton County, Ga., advocating for abused and neglected children. "It was my dream job," he recalls in the video. But in 2013, after a decade on the job, he was fired -- not long after he'd joined a gay softball league. He hadn't been closeted at work, but joining the league apparently raised his gay profile a bit too much for his supervisors. "I knew immediately it was because of my sexual orientation," he says.

"It was the worst day of my life," he remembers, other than the day he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was still recovering when he lost his job and his health insurance.

The Supreme Court heard Bostock's case along with those of funeral director Aimee Stephens, who was fired after coming out as transgender, and the late skydiving instructor Donald Zarda, who was fired after telling a client he was gay. The question before the court is whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in banning sex discrimination, bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Lower courts have delivered conflicting opinions on the issue.

A decision is expected in the spring. Watch the video below, and read an Advocate interview with Bostock here.

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