Jay Brome served as an officer in the California Highway Patrol for over twenty years. As an out gay man, Jay experienced constant harassment and mistreatment from fellow officers and superiors throughout his career, including verbal insults, refusals to provide back-up, and denials of career opportunities. Brome sued CHP in state court and alleged that this pattern of discrimination and harassment violates California’s Fair Housing and Employment Act, which prohibits discrimination based an employee’s sexual orientation. The Solano County Superior Court dismissed the case, and Brome appealed.
On August 13, 2019, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, joined by five other groups dedicated to ensuring the equal treatment of LGBTQ people, filed an amicus brief in support of Brome. The amicus brief details the history of homophobia in law enforcement and onging effect homophobia has on law-enforcement agencies throughout California and across the country. Because of the very serious harms caused by homophobia in law enforcement–to the officers and LGBTQ community–the brief also discussed the important role that courts play in addressing those harms.
On January 23, 2020, the California Court of Appeals heard oral argument on the appeal. On January 28, 2020, the California Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision and reinstated Jay Brome’s complaint. On January 28, 2020, the California Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of the complaint and remanded the case for trial.