In December 2020, the LGBTQ & HIV Project, WRRP, and private law firm Latham & Watkins collaborated on an amicus brief for a landmark transgender rights case in Illinois. Meggan Sommerville, a transgender woman, successfully sued her longtime employer Hobby Lobby for prohibiting her from using the women’s restroom at work. The Illinois Human Rights Commission found Hobby Lobby had discriminated against Ms. Sommerville in violation of Illinois law. Hobby Lobby appealed this ruling, arguing it is not illegal discrimination to bar a transgender employee from using the facilities that match their gender identity. Our amicus brief argues that Hobby Lobby’s depiction of sex in its appeal is not only incorrect, but harmful to transgender and cisgender people alike.
The ACLU of Illinois was joined by a number of other gender justice and anti-violence organizations which signed onto the brief in support of Ms. Sommerville: the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Mutual Ground, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault, Resilience, Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, The Network, VOICES of Stephenson County, Women Employed, and YWCA Evanston/North Shore.