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K-State Today

June 19, 2020

K-State researcher's work cited in recent US Supreme Court case

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday, June 15, cited K-State history professor Phil Tiemeyer's work detailing LGBT workers' ties to the Civil Rights Act in the decision. 

The historic 6-3 ruling declared that transgender citizens, as well as lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens could no longer be discriminated against on the job or in the course of looking for work. The majority said that these workers are protected under the provision of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that forbids workplace discrimination based on "sex." Tiemeyer's work from his book, "Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants," appears in a footnote of one of the case's amicus briefs.

"Footnotes are a nearly sacred thing for us historians," Tiemeyer said. "They prove our mettle as scholars, even if they're scrutinized by only the most rigorous readers. As such, it's pleasing to imagine that in this landmark case, it was the Supreme Court justices and their staff members who scoured the footnotes and found details from my book that supported the ultimately victorious argument for change."