Attorney General Jeff Sessions ends transgender workplace protections

06 October, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Gary Shelton
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The action could potentially open people up to discrimination in the workplace due to their gender identity.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday he is reviving a Bush era crime-fighting strategy that emphasizes aggressive prosecution of gun and gang crimes. And he says the move should not be construed to condone mistreatment of transgender people.

It's a new day, and with it comes another anti-LGBT action taken by a member of Donald Trump's administration.

Sessions's memo urges the Department of Justice to "interpret Title VII as written by Congress".

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"The Sessions Justice Department must put its civil rights enforcement responsibilities above its divisive agenda and recognize that LGBTQ people deserve the full protection of our civil rights laws", said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

"It's ironic for them to say this is law, and not policy", Sharon McGowan, a Lambda Legal attorney who formerly worked in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, told BuzzFeed. "This Department remains committed to protecting the civil and constitutional rights of all individuals, and will continue to enforce the numerous laws that Congress has enacted that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation".

The memorandum reverses the position that the Justice Department took in 2014, when then-Attorney General Eric Holder determined that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is a form of sex discrimination.

"Because PSN is a department priority, I will hold each United States attorney accountable for results", Sessions stated in a memo to U.S. attorneys across the country.

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Title VII bans employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

"The sessions DOJ is trying to roll back the clock and pretend that the progress of the last decade hasnt' happened", she continued. Courts have repeatedly ruled that transgender people are protected by sex discrimination laws in employment, education, housing and healthcare.

"The attorney general does not get to make law, but he should at least read it", Keisling said.

In response, the suing groups, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), called it a "fantasy" that Trump's tweeted announcement July 26 that the government "will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military", followed by an August 25 presidential memorandum, has not affected thousands of service members and their families.

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