Attorney General Sessions Reverses Course On Policy Protecting Transgender Folks In Workplace

Attorney General Sessions Reverses Course On Policy Protecting Transgender Folks In Workplace
Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Deeply disappointing but not a surprise by any means, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today that his Department of Justice has reversed course on the Obama era position that federal law bans sex discrimination in the workplace.

Going forward the DOJ’s position is that Title VII does not offer any protections for transgender individuals in the workplace.

From Reuters:

The memo sent to U.S. Attorneys’ offices on Wednesday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions says Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 only prohibits discrimination on the basis of a worker’s biological sex, and not their gender identity.

Sessions rescinded a Justice Department memo from 2014 that said Title VII does protect transgender people, a position also taken by several federal appeals courts in recent years.

It was the Trump administration’s latest move to roll back Obama administration policies on LGBT issues. In August, President Donald Trump signed a memo directing the U.S. military not to accept transgender men and women as recruits, reversing a policy that allowed transgender people to serve openly.

And last month, the Justice Department appeared before a federal appeals court in Manhattan to argue that Title VII does not provide protections to gay and lesbian workers.

Yet another hostile move against the LGBTQ community from Donald “Better for the Gays” Trump.

Here’s just a few of the LGBTQ advocacy groups responding to the memo.

Stacey Long Simmons, Director of Advocacy and Action, National LGBTQ Task Force:

“This memo contradicts what is already established legal precedent. Courts across the country have agreed that sex protections include gender identity. The plain truth is that Attorney General Sessions is running the Justice Department with a clear anti-transgender bias, not current law.

“This is only the latest example of the administration’s broad reaching anti-LGBTQ policy changes. There is a pungent stench coming from the Trump/Pence Administration and its actors.”

Kellan Baker, Board of Directors, Equality Federation

“Sessions’ shameful memo is yet another purely political attack on some of the most vulnerable members of our community: transgender people like me.

“The vast majority of Americans and the courts agree that transgender people should have a fair opportunity to provide for ourselves and our families, free from discrimination on the basis of who we are.

“Even as this administration continues its attacks on LGBTQ communities and on our friends and allies, we will continue our fight to live and work safely and with dignity in the communities we call home.”