On Oct. 5, an internal DOJ memo revealed that Sessions had reversed a policy from the Obama administration that had protected transgender employees under the 1964 Civil Rights Act's Title VII, which protects workers from being discriminated based on their sex, BuzzFeed News reports.
The action could potentially open people up to discrimination in the workplace due to their gender identity.
Jeff Sessions says in his memo that this is about "law, not policy" but the courts clearly disagree. And he says the move should not be construed to condone mistreatment of transgender people. Just last week, a Justice Department attorney argued before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals the law doesn't apply to an employment discrimination case filed by Donald Zarda, a deceased gay skydiver, because Congress didn't intend Title VII to cover sexual orientation.
These actions give the distinct impression that the Justice Department is uninterested in fighting discrimination against LGBT people. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a government agency that deals with civil rights in the workplace, determined that sex discrimination also includes discrimination based on gender identity and sex stereotyping. "Transgender workers deserve to know their government will have their back when they're faced with discrimination". For example, both Attorney General Holder and President Barack Obama came to the conclusion that DOMA, the 1996 law that prohibited the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples, was unconstitutional.More news: Saudi Aramco not discussing taking stake in Novatek's Arctic LNG
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Devin O'Malley, a spokesperson for the Justice Department, told Reuters that Sessions had to step in after the last administration extended the protections of the law beyond what was constitutional.
"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. "It demonstrates that this memo is not actually a reflection of the law as it is - it's a reflection of what the DOJ wishes the law were".
Title VII of the landmark 1964 federal law states that employers can not discriminate against someone "because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin". "The Attorney General does not get to make law, but he should at least read it". Trump admin will stop at nothing to drag us backwards.