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Federal lawsuit could confirm EEOC ruling, enforce protection for LGBT workers.

Former Federal Aviation Administration employee David Baldwin’s lawsuit has the potential to eclipse Obergefell v. Hodges in terms of overall impact for the LGBT community. Mr. Baldwin is aimed at obtaining a federal decision —  and eventually from the high court itself — saying anti-gay job bias is already illegal under existing civil rights laws.

“Mr. Baldwin’s case has the ability to affect more people than the [Supreme] Court’s Obergefell [marriage] case because there are more gay men and women who have jobs than same sex couples who want to get married,” Baldwin’s lawyer, Lowell Kuvin, toldBuzzFeed News.

In 2012, Baldwin filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging he was denied a promotion and suffered harassment based on his sexual orientation while working as a temporary frontline manager at Miami International Airport. This July, the EEOC ruled in Baldwin’s favor, saying anti-gay bias qualifies as sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“The fact that Plaintiff is male and gay was a motivating factor in the decision to not promote Plaintiff,” the complaint states. “Plaintiff was singled out due to his sexual orientation and treated differently than heterosexual co-workers.”

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