The US Justice Department has reversed a policy that protects trans people from employment discrimination.
This upends previous guidance issued under the Obama administration, that said a 1964 federal civil rights law protects trans people on the basis of sex discrimination.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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.’
‘This is a conclusion of law, not policy,’ Sessions said, adding the department will take this new position in all ‘pending and future matters’.
Title VII bans employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.
Employer free to hand a ‘Transgender Need Not Apply’ sign in the window
Trans activists says the administration is ‘dead wrong’ on the law.
‘According to Sessions, an employer is free to hang a “Transgender Need Not Apply” sign in their window. Fortunately, he is dead wrong on the law,’ said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, in a statement.
‘Courts have repeatedly ruled that transgender people are protected by sex discrimination laws in employment, education, housing and healthcare. We’ll see him in court.’
James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT and HIV Project, also blasted the move.
‘Today marks another low point for the Department of Justice’
‘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,’ Esseks said.
‘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.’