Jeff Sessions Thinks It Should Be Legal to Fire You for Being LGBT

In the latest and most significant anti-LGBT action yet from the Trump administration, the Justice Department last night filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit arguing that federal civil rights laws do not protect individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The case in question concerns a former skydiving instructor who filed a lawsuit against his employer in 2010, alleging that the company terminated him because of his sexual orientation.

This appalling brief from the Jeff Sessions-led Justice Department comes as the Second Circuit is preparing to hear arguments about whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, also prohibits discrimination against lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people — a position supported by, among many others, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which is based in Chicago, considered the same question. They ultimately ruled that discrimination against a person based on their sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination that is prohibited under Title VII. In writing for the court, Chief Judge Diane P. Wood noted that, “It would require considerable calisthenics to remove the ‘sex’ from ‘sexual orientation.’”[RK1]

And yet these kinds of legal gymnastics are now exactly what the Justice Department is attempting to do.

“It would require considerable calisthenics to remove the ‘sex’ from ‘sexual orientation.’”

As if the Trump administration’s legal arguments in this case weren’t galling enough on their own, the fact that they are even weighing in at all in this case is noteworthy for how outrageous it is. The United States is not a party to the case, thus the administration cannot argue that its hand was forced. No, this is nothing more than a shameful effort on the part of a very anti-LGBT attorney general to advance discriminatory legal arguments. The question of whether Title VII prohibits gender identity-based discrimination — a position well-supported in case law — isn’t even before the court in this case. Rather, this case addresses the question of whether the federal law that prohibits employment discrimination based on sex also bars discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation.

It is disgraceful that the Trump administration is working affirmatively to expose LGBT people to discrimination. Fortunately, the question of whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBT people is ultimately a question for the courts to resolve, not Attorney General Sessions.

So while the Justice Department abdicates their responsibility to fight for and uphold our civil rights, we will continue to push forward. 

The ACLU is confident that the law is in our side and that the courts will come to the right decision, just as the Seventh Circuit already has. And we’re prepared to continue this fight to make clear that discrimination against LGBT people is just another form of sex discrimination that is prohibited under federal civil rights laws.

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Anonymous

Better watch out little man...It IS Legal to FIRE YOU!

Anonymous

So..you like that?

JD Warnock

A diversion and crass attempt to placate a nervous base. We are reliving history. As in:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Anonymous

very true...

Anonymous

JD Warnock, my I share your post? It is spot-on!

Anonymous

It's a well known poem by Martin Niemoller: First They Came...

Anonymous

::eyeroll::

SeattleJen

There's a 'rewrite for 45' (link below) that reads:

First Trump came for the women, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a woman.
Then Trump came for the people with disabilities, And I did not speak out
Because I did not have a disability.
Then Trump came for the African Americans, And I did not speak out
Because I was not African American.
Then Trump came for the Mexicans, And I did not speak out
Because I was not Mexican.
Then Trump came for the Muslims, And I did not speak out
Because I was not Muslim.
Then Trump came for the gay, bi, and trans people, And I did not speak out
Because I was not gay, bi or trans.*
Then Trump came for the Jews, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.**
Then Trump came for the journalists, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a journalist.***
Then Trump came for the judges, And I did not speak out
Because I was not a judge.
And now Trump is coming for the Constitution of the United States
And if I do not speak out, what am I?

https://qz.com/702497/the-famous-poem-by-an-anti-nazi-pastor-rewritten-f...

Anonymous

If they can do the job, let them do the job. To fire someone for any personal reason unrelated to job performance is discrimination. I cannot fire someone because they do not like gay people, so I should not be able to fire someone for their sexual orientation... unless I am a porn producer and I hired them specifically for their sexual orientation.

Anonymous

Except people are losing their private businesses because other people alledge they dislike gays. c'mon...

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