On the same day that President Trump tweeted that he would ban trans people from serving in the army, his administration made another vile attack on the queer community.
The Department of Justice intervened in an private employment case to note that Title VII (the civil rights law) does not bar job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin is prohibited. However, the lawyers under Attorney General Jeff Sessions are contending that sex discrimination does not cover sexual orientation.
“The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination,” says the Justice Department’s brief. “It does not, as has been settled for decades. Any efforts to amend Title VII’s scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts.”
While the Obama administration never went as to say the law covered sexual orientation, it did say that sex discrimination included gender identity, thereby protecting transgender workers.
“Attacks against the LGBTQ community at all levels of government continue to pour in from the Trump-Pence administration,” said Sarah Warbelow, HRC Legal Director. “In one fell swoop, Trump’s DOJ has provided a roadmap for dismantling years of federal protections … for over a decade, courts have determined that discrimination on the basis of LGBTQ status is unlawful discrimination under federal law.”
Director of the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project James Esseks said in a statement that fortunately the courts will decide whether or not the Civil Rights Act protects LGBT people — not the Attorney General and White House.
“We are confident that the courts will side with equality and the people,” he said.