Indiana Law Journal

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97 Indiana Law Journal Supplement 14 (2022)


In 1954, Gordon Allport, one of the nation’s leading social psychologists, laid out a hypothesis explaining how prejudice could be reduced by intergroup contact. Decades later, his hypothesis became a theory with thousands of research hours behind it. Under contact theory, one of the factors that facilitates a reduction in prejudice between two groups is support of authorities or law. This Comment focuses on Bostock v. Clayton County, a recent Supreme Court decision holding that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Allport suggested that antidiscrimination laws help to “lead and guide the folkways,” and this Comment explores how Bostock could do just that in the context of prejudice. Bostock will allow for more contact with LGBTQ people and, by sending a message that discrimination is not condoned, Bostock can eventually change how society views LGBTQ people. Under contact theory, Bostock’s antidiscrimination protections will establish antiprejudicial societal norms and, as a result, religious groups that show animosity toward nontraditional couples may eventually begin to accept them.