In an escalation of the Trump administration’s attacks on the LGBTQ community, the Justice Department Friday night filed a brief urging the right-wing Supreme Court to legalize the firing of workers solely for being transgender.
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Buzzfeed described the Justice Department’s move, which was widely condemned by rights groups, as one of the Trump administration’s “most aggressive steps yet to legalize anti-transgender discrimination.”
As Buzzfeed reported:
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights condemned the Justice Department’s filing as “outrageous.”
Chris Geidner of the Justice Collaborative tweeted that “it’s a disgrace the government is affirmatively arguing for a narrow, pro-discrimination interpretation of Title VII, a remedial law aimed at minimizing discrimination.”
The Supreme Court, which President Donald Trump has driven further to the right with the nomination of two Republican judges, agreed earlier this year to hear three cases that consider whether federal civil rights law prohibiting workplace discrimination applies to LGBTQ workers.
Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, told HuffPost that the cases could have far-reaching implications.
“People don’t realize that the stakes are extending not just the trans and LGB communities, but every person who departs from sex stereotypes: Women who want to wear pants in the workplace, men who want more childbearing responsibilities,” Strangio said. “Those protections are also in peril with the arguments advanced by the Trump administration, presented at the Supreme Court.”
The DOJ’s filing comes just days after the Trump Labor Department unveiled a rule that would allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ workers as long as they have a “religious” justification.
“This is taxpayer-funded discrimination in the name of religion. Period,” tweeted the ACLU. “Nearly one-quarter of employees in the United States work for an employer that has a contract with the federal government. This rule seeks to undermine our civil rights protections and encourages discrimination in the workplace—and we will work to stop it.”
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