Jeff Sessions continued the Trump administration’s attacks on LGBT rights by reportedly making it easier to discriminate against transgender workers. Find out what this means for all your trans friends.
Jeff Sessions, 70, the former Alabama Senator once considered too racist to be a federal judge, reversed a policy that said transgender workers were entitled to the same protection from discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to a memo obtained by BuzzFeed News. Jeff’s directive, issued on Oct. 4, said, “Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination encompasses discrimination between men and women but does not encompass discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status.”
“Although federal law, including Title VII, provides various protections to transgender individuals, Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se,” the United States’ Attorney General wrote. “This is a conclusion of law, not policy. As a law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice must interpret Title VII as written by Congress.”
Jeff’s rollback of the federal policy, put in place when Barack Obama, 56, was president, is likely in response to how broadly the government interprets Title VII of the Civil Rights act. The 53-year-old act doesn’t address LGBT people directly and Title VII addresses discrimination on the bases of sex only, according to Jezebel. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission agency that deals with civil rights in the workplace, determined that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on gender identity. In 2014, Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo agreeing with this finding, saying that trans people were protected from facing discrimination when it comes to their employment.
The Sessions [Department of Justice] is trying to roll back the clock and pretend that the progress of the last decade hasn’t happened,” Sharon McGowan, a former lawyer for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division (and current lawyer for Lambda Legal, a LGBT rights group) told BuzzFeed News. “The Justice Department is actually getting back in the business of making anti-transgender law in court.”
This is another attack from President Donald Trump’s administration on LGBT rights. The administration reversed an Obama-era policy that protected transgender students’ rights in Feb. 2017, and in Sept. 2017, the DOJ argued that Title VII doesn’t protect a gay worker from discrimination. Plus, there’s also Trump’s infamous ban on allowing transgender people to serve in the nation’s military, a policy he rolled out – to no one’s surprise – on Twitter.
However, despite stripping away protections from trans workers, Jeff’s memo says his department must “continue to affirm the dignity of all people, including transgender individuals Nothing in this memorandum should be construed to condone mistreatment on the basis of gender identity, or to express a policy view on whether Congress should amend Title VII to provide different or additional protections.”
What do you think about Jeff Sessions’s decision, HollywoodLifers?