LGBT Section

The section strives to enhance the status of and provide opportunities to LGBT attorneys and their allies, and to advocate for the TBA's participation on issues of concern to members. Learn more, contact Jarod Word at

Immediate Past Chair
The Landers Firm, PLC
65 Union Ave, 9th Fl
Memphis, TN 38103
1600 Division Street, Suite 700
Nashville, TN 37203
Staff Coordinator
Tennessee Bar Association
221 4th Avenue N. Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219

Court Hears Oral Arguments in LGBT Employment Cases

Tthe U.S. Supreme Court yesterday heard oral arguments in a trio of civil-rights cases involving LGBT employees. The question is whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace, also protects gay and transgender employees. The debate included a discussion of whether the court should rule in the case or call on Congress to clarify the statute, National Public Radio reports. Justice Neil Gorsuch also asked if the court should consider “the massive social upheaval” that could follow a ruling in favor of the workers. Attorneys for employers sued in the cases said Congress meant the protections to apply only on the basis of biological gender to protect women in the workplace. Lawyers for the plaintiffs, however, argued that the court has interpreted the law more broadly in the past, sometimes applying its provisions to cases Congress could not have imagined at the time it was passed.

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Prosecutor Weighing Criminal Charges After Teen Suicide

Coffee County teenager Channing Smith committed suicide after two peers outed his sexuality on social media. His family is now worried that beliefs held by the district attorney may impact a decision on whether to seek justice for their son, the Daily News Journal reports. District Attorney Craig Northcott is on tape saying he will not prosecute domestic violence cases involving same-sex couples and that he will not recognize gay marriage. He is reportedly under investigation by the Board of Professional Responsibility for those comments.

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