Jeff Sessions reverses non-discrimination protections for transgender workersAround the Nation, Breaking News, Top Highlights Thursday, October 5th, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. — United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions today reversed a federal policy aimed to protect transgender workers from workplace discrimination. In a move that erased a policy issued by the Obama Administration, Sessions issued a memo to United States attorneys arguing that transgender workers should not receive the same protections under the Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as other workers receive based on gender and race.
“This outright attack on transgender Americans has proven, once again, that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is working according to his own ideology and not actual justice,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD. “Sessions joins President Trump and an administration who are stopping at nothing to strengthen institutional discrimination and walk back the hard-fought progress made by the LGBTQ community.”
“Yet again, the Trump-Pence administration continues to unleash shameful attacks against the transgender community in an effort to promote their disgusting agenda of hate,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC legal director. “The DOJ’s jaw-dropping policy conflicts with years of interpretation from both the U.S. Supreme Court and federal circuit courts. Sessions is openly directing the Department to ignore their responsibilities in protecting the civil rights of all Americans. Transgender workers deserve to know their government will have their back when they’re faced with discrimination.”
James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project, issued the following statement:
“Today marks another low point for a Department of Justice, which has been cruelly consistent in its hostility towards the LGBT community and in particular its inability to treat transgender people with basic dignity and respect.
“This Department of Justice under Jeff Sessions has time and time again made it clear that its explicit agenda is to attack and undermine the civil rights of our most vulnerable communities, rather than standing up for them as they should be doing.
“Discrimination against transgender people is sex discrimination, just as DOJ recognized years ago. We are confident that the courts will continue to agree and will reject the politically driven decision by Attorney General Sessions.”
Calling Sessions’ action another “brutal attack on the LGBTQ community” Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement:
“This latest brutal attack on the LGBTQ community by Jeff Sessions’s Justice Department is more proof that the Trump Administration is institutionalizing bigotry and hate as cornerstones of its approach to governance. The Department recently argued in federal court that civil rights laws don’t protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, and made the utterly heartless decision to rescind guidance protecting transgender students against discrimination at school. With Donald Trump’s repeated nomination of federal judicial candidates who are openly anti-LGBTQ, this administration is putting the lives and rights of LGBTQ people more at risk than they have been in many years.”
Currently, there is no federal law that explicitly prohibits discrimination against transgender employees in the workplace, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has previously argued that transgender workers are protected in the workplace as a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Now, the Trump Administration is working to dismantle this progress by arguing “Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se,” according to a copy of Session’s memo obtained by BuzzFeed.
Further, today’s announcement falls directly in line with the Trump Administration’s overall goal to erase LGBTQ acceptance from the fabric of this nation. In less than a year, President Trump has worked to ban transgender Americans from openly serving “at any capacity” in the U.S. military, remove LGBTQ Americans from the upcoming 2020 United States Census, and erase LGBTQ seniors from critical Medicare and Medicaid surveys. Find more information to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ extensive anti-LGBTQ record below.
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