Mayor Samantha Paradis proposed the city sign on with a Title VII amicus brief about employment nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community during a City Council meeting June 18. She said the action by the council would join a national effort to show support for LGBTQ rights in the workforce.

Three cases the brief will represent are R.G and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC and Aimee Stephens, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, and Bostock v. Clayton County. The cases will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in December.

An amicus brief is a document that is curated by a third party not involved with the initial case being presented that offers insight on an issue being presented by the case. The brief in this circumstance will be drafted by local jurisdictions in and around Los Angeles.

This will determine how Title VII’s ban on workplace sex discrimination could protect against LGBTQ discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

City Councilors voted unanimously, in the absence of Councilor Eric Sanders, to join the brief during a special meeting June 20. Councilor Neal Harkness said he thought the position represents the city of Belfast well and signing the brief was not much different from the ways the city advocates for or against legislation in Augusta.

“It is this judicial version of the same thing we do when we send a letter to Augusta on legislation or send someone from city staff to give our opinion to the Legislature. In this case we’re giving it to the court rather than the Legislature … I think that the position in this case is absolutely in line with the values of this community and this council,” Harkness said.

Paradis shared the importance of representation for sensitive issues concerning the LGBTQ community and gave her appreciation to councilors for deciding to join the brief, especially during Pride month.

“I would like to share my appreciation in the council considering signing on," she said. "So much gratitude in taking this position and moving this forward. Especially this month being Pride month and the importance that ensuring that our LGBTQ neighbors do not face discrimination in the workplace. And I know in Maine we do have that legal protection, but that is not the case across the country.”

The deadline for signatures is July 1, and a draft will be presented to each signee by the end of June, at which time the city could choose to remove its name. The city will have no financial obligations after signing the brief. It will be signed by the city attorney.