DOJ filing on Title VII: ‘Another step in a campaign against the civil rights of so many communities’ (VIDEO)Around the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Saturday, July 29th, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Friday on News One Now, guest host Ray Baker interviewed Harper Jean Tobin, the policy director of the National Center for Transgender Equality about the Department of Justice having filed an unsolicited amicus brief on Wednesday stating that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover job discrimination based on sexual orientation. The brief was filed in the case of skydiving instructor Donald Zarda, who sued his former employer, claiming he was fired after he told a customer he was gay. Zarda died before the case went to trial, but his estate is continuing to fight on his behalf. Tobin says it’s another step in a campaign against the civil rights of numerous communities by this Justice Department.
“Contrary to what they say in the brief, it’s really contrary to a couple of decades of case law increasingly saying that sex discrimination has to include anti-LGBT discrimination. If I’m fired because my sex as a woman is the same sex as my partner, or because my sex as a transgender woman is not a sex that someone else thinks I am, how is that not sex discrimination?” said Tobin.
Tobin says that the DOJ’s decision to file the brief without being asked may be their way of asking for the courts to fight back.
“Congress probably should at some point codify the case law, but increasingly what the case law is saying, based on how the Supreme Court has said you’re supposed to interpret civil rights laws is that this is sex discrimination under existing law. That’s what the courts should say and that’s what the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have been saying – up until now. When you look at their attacks on transgender students, on transgender troops, on voting rights, on efforts to hold police departments accountable, this is a Justice Department that is really hell-bent on rolling back civil rights.”
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