Update: On June 28, 2024, the Supreme Court ruled issued a shameful ruling that homeless people are not included in the Constitution’s protections against cruel and unusual punishment. This ruling will make homelessness drastically worse and impact the 250,000+ people who sleep outside each night, as well as millions of Americans who are just one missed paycheck away from homelessness.


Over 600,000 people experience homelessness in America, and nearly half of them sleep outside. Safe and affordable housing, not carceral measures like jails, fines, or forced treatment, will solve homelessness.

GLAD and 45 other organizations committed to ending discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community submitted an amicus (friend of the court) brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the City of Grants Pass v. Johnson, a case concerning the criminalization of homelessness. The organizations argue that local ordinances that punish people for sleeping in public areas when shelter beds are unavailable violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment, and have a disproportionate impact on LGBTQI+ people, who already experience elevated rates of homelessness due to discrimination and marginalization.

The Supreme Court heard the case on April 22, 2024. The Court will issue a decision by June 30, 2024.

The amicus brief was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights and was signed by the following organizations:

  • Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, San Francisco, Cal.
  • Black & Pink National, Omaha, Neb.
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Black Trans Nation, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Center for Community Alternatives, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • The Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, NY.
  • DC LGBTQ+ Community Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Desiree Alliance, Calabasas, Cal.
  • Drug Policy Alliance, New York, N.Y.
  • Equality Federation, Portland, Or.
  • Equality New York, New York, N.Y.
  • Fountain House, New York, N.Y.
  • Free to Be Youth Project, New York, N.Y.
  • GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Boston, Mass.
  • GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing
  • LGBTQ+ Equality, Washington, D.C.
  • Harvard LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Housing Works, Inc., New York, N.Y.
  • Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, Oakland, Cal.
  • LGBT Bar of New York, New York, N.Y.
  • Make the Road New York, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights, San Francisco, Cal.
  • National Center for Transgender Equality, Washington, D.C.
  • National Trans Bar Association, San Francisco, Cal.
  • National Women’s Law Center, Washington, D.C.
  • New York County Defender Services, New York, N.Y.
  • New York Legal Assistance Group, New York, N.Y.
  • New York Transgender Advocacy Group, New York, N.Y.
  • Phoenix Transition Program, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Rainbow Health Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Rights Behind Bars, Washington, D.C.
  • Ruth Ellis Center, Highland Park, Mich.
  • SAGE, New York, N.Y.
  • Sakhi for South Asian Women, New York, N.Y.
  • Sylvia Rivera Law Project, New York, N.Y.
  • Tom Homann LGBTQ+ Law Association, San Diego, Cal.
  • Trans Pride Initiative, Dallas, Tex.
  • Trans Sistas of Color Project, Detroit, Mich.
  • Trans(forming), Atlanta, Ga.
  • Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • Transgender Law Center, Oakland, Cal.
  • Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, New York, N.Y.
  • Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • TransSOCIAL, Inc., Miami, Fla.
  • Treatment Action Group, New York, N.Y.
  • Women With A Vision, New Orleans, La.