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Jeff Sessions and the DOJ Set To Reject LGBT Workplace Protections Under Title VII


According to sources from the Washington Blade, Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department intends to file a friend-of-the-court brief that would affirm the view of the three-judge panel on the Second Circuit who  in April determined Title VII doesn’t prohibit anti-gay discrimination in the case of Zarda v. Altitude Express which alleges  Donald Zarda, who has since passed away  was fired from his job in 2010 for being gay.

Such a brief would reverse a position under former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder asserting discrimination on the basis of gender identity is prohibited under Title VII. In a 2014 memo, Holder wrote the Justice Department will no longer assert Title VII’s prohibition on gender discrimination “does not encompass gender identity per se (including transgender discrimination).”

The current case is under review at the request of Lambda Legal has agreed to reconsider the ruling “en banc,” or before the full court.

James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, states that filing such a brief would be going out of its way to undermine LGBT rights.

“This would be a gratuitous and extraordinary attack on LGBT people’s civil rights,” Esseks said. “DOJ would be reaching out to offer its opinion on these issues, since they are not a party to this case. That’s not championing LGBT people, it’s working affirmatively to expose us to discrimination. But fortunately, whether the Civil Rights Act protects LGBT people is ultimately a question for the courts to resolve, and not for the attorney general. We are confident that the courts will come to the right decision here.”

Even though the Justice Department brief would be restricted to an interpretation of law related to employment, it could have implications for other federal laws barring sex discrimination in housing and education and seems to be at odds with the position of the Education Department.

If you think this is not an all out war against the LGBT community.  Think again.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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2 thoughts on “Jeff Sessions and the DOJ Set To Reject LGBT Workplace Protections Under Title VII”

  1. How in hell can anyone believe that discriminating against gay people is allowed in our constitution? You can’t single out anyone for who they are and justify that the law does not protect everyone.

  2. With this and trump’s declaration today from his twits notifying Americans that …transgender military men and women will not be allowed to serve our country just shows how they are working against Americans, these are sharia laws these two are sneaking into the U.S. against our constitution. Republicans had odium for these sharia laws and now are ultra parallel to their core values and religious beliefs. What next every city will use loud speakers announcing declarations with some sort of lamentations in the background.

What do you think?