An email from GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) declares that:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions just reversed an Obama administration policy that protects transgender people from workplace discrimination. …
The law in question is Title VII, a 1964 civil rights law which prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex. The Obama administration issued policy guidance to clarify that “sex” includes gender identity, which means that if a trans person experiences discrimination, violence, or harassment at work, they could pursue legal recourse. But now Jeff Sessions has erased that protection with a single memo.
The Trump administration is putting LGBTQ people at risk every day — and every day they’re showing us just how far they’ll go to attack this community.
However, as I posted on Facebook:
The above Washington Times article reports that:
“The Department of Justice cannot expand the law beyond what Congress has provided,” said DOJ spokesman Devin O’Malley. “Unfortunately, the last administration abandoned that fundamental principle, which necessitated today’s action.”
Mr. Sessions’ memo goes on to say that it should not “be construed to condone mistreatment on the basis or gender identity, or to express a policy view on whether Congress should amend Title VII or provide different or additional protection.”
“The Justice Department must and will continue to affirm the dignity of all people, including transgender individuals,” he wrote.
Liberal-leaning and conservative-leaning appellate courts have split on how elastic interpretations of Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination can be, and whether the law can be stretched to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Those favoring a more creative approach to interpreting the language of the law will understandably oppose the Trump administration’s position. But characterizing it as a “blatant attack on transgender people,” as GLAAD does, is just more partisan hackery.